The Raid Observer: Tier 13 race in the news

It's not often that we have major newspapers reporting on our progress races, but thanks to an eagle-eyed, news-reading (work-procrastinating?) source, I've been alerted to an intriguing piece of news. Oh and vote in my latest poll: Anyway, read on!


Progress race in the news

The topic of raiding has been in the news before, quite a few times, actually. Even I've been interviewed about raiding (by the BBC about a year ago). And the inclusion of an actual world-first kill in the February 2011 BBC piece may be the first of its kind (please do correct me if there is an earlier example of this!).

But these news pieces are rare, being either confined to the fringes of content-oriented or gamer-community specific zines, blogs, or online news sources; they don't always make it to the big newspapers or media sources. Some mainstream media are doing a better job, in general, than others at reporting about raiding and its tier races, but alarmism and sensationalism seems to rule the day when it comes to what is written about with gamers and gaming. A few examples of what gets into the mainstream media:

  • When the mainstream media wants to write about how gaming may have led someone to become a murderer, antisocial, or obese.
  • When we want to talk about gold farming, particularly when it is exposing unethical practices.
  • The fringelike elements of our community such as those who engage in cosplay or extreme gaming practices.

And who doesn't love showing footage of those of us who opt to wear a Draenei costume at a games convention or while queuing up at the local games shop at midnight waiting for the next expansion release of WoW? Let's face it, the media prefers to report things in a somewhat skewed, sensationalist manner, and something like a race is far less exciting.

Well, I was shown a piece of news today that I found particularly intriguing. The progress race itself was reported on by a top mainstream Finnish newspaper today, where they not only reported on DREAM Paragon, but also referenced the recent LFR ban and how it could have impacted the overall race. Here is the link to the article in original Finnish, with a copy of the fairly decent Google-translated into English following:


VERY VERY VERY ROUGH TRANSLATION (courtesy of Google translate):

Network games can be played many ways. Most amateurs do not have other objectives than entertainment.

At the other extreme represented by top athletes, like the players toil, who are working together among the best in the world. The best teams, ie killoilla or clans, are also often sponsor agreements.

World of Warcraft in the top position had long been in possession of full Finnish players, consisting of Paragon Guild.

When the game is added to new and more difficult challenges, starting between the peaks in the competition of who the opponent's first Supreme crash severity. Paragon was able to a couple of years to collect all of the significant initial gains.

Series was cut short, however, in December, when Paragon was last Tuesday, the guild is only the fourth in the world, who killed the dragon Deathwing more difficult version. Honor of the first killing went to the Korean-Kin Raiders guild.

The network held a heated debate as to whether the race this time, biased or not. Part of the Paragon and other raiders had to race at its most heated shelved for a few days, because Blizzard took their kikkailleen stretch the rules of the game way to obtain better equipment.

The next round of competition will take place later this year, when the extension appears in Warcraft.


"Kikkailleen" means something like "fiddling in a questionable way", thus referencing the bans quite overtly. I also love the literal translation of Paragon members (and other banned players) being "shelved for a few days". I'm sure someone can give a more accurate translation than what I've got here, but I wanted to slap up the instant translation for expediency's sake.

Why am I intrigued by this piece? Well, for one it's a Finnish newspaper reporting on the race and the newsworthy fact that the previously top-ranked guild, a Finnish guild, has fallen in the overall rankings. I mean if you think abut this from a somewhat distant perspective, of course the top ranked guild out of 10-million or so subscribers being Finnish should be interesting to a Finnish public (considering their population is barely half of the WoW subscriber base). So in a way it's a fact of the idea of "newsworthiness" catching up with the gaming community, even though the news is not the most positive for Paragon itself.

It's also nice to see that they reported on the bans and the "fishiness" of the race itself that has been lamented by raiders in this tier. Even though I'm depending on the google translation, I'd say this feels a bit like an accurate report to me.

Will we start to see more news pieces like this? It's possible, but I think it will be a long time before we get past the far more tantalising stuff that the media prefers to report on. After all, everyone loves the idea of the antisocial, slovenly gamer hiding behind his computer screen in a darkened basement somewhere....