WoW: The Social Contract arrives and is already being debated
It is from an announcement which the developers of World of Warcraft seemed to welcome that the new debate of the moment will have recently been fueled: a "Social Contract" will be available in game with the arrival of Patch 9.2.5. Two words almost insulting to the ears of some that many players seem to have received very badly. But what is it? And why such marked opposition to this novelty? This is what we will try to explain in this article.
Social Contract: What the hell is that again?
The World of Warcraft Social Contract is, to put it simply, a short set of rules of conduct to accept and follow if you wish to set foot in Azeroth. It is intended to allow each player to play WoW in complete serenity without having to suffer the various misdeeds that certain other players can sometimes cause for reasons as diverse as varied (trolling, harassment, hatred. ..).
It's actually sort of the very WoW-specific version of the End User License Agreement that everyone has to agree to in order to run the game. The only difference here is that the Social Agreement is very short, succinct and perfectly understandable for anyone. It specifically clarifies what types of behavior are expected from players in Azeroth. It is also in everyone's interest to be aware of them since the acceptance of these few rules implies that the player exposes himself to clear and direct sanctions in the event of a breach of them.
Fun fact and quite logical: if you select "Quit" instead of accepting the WoW Social Contract, then the client closes automatically. You must have accepted these rules to enter the game, otherwise you literally have nothing to do!
A marked opposition
While part of the community seems to have welcomed this novelty rather well, others have chosen to oppose it. The reasons given are often very similar: censorship and the "end of freedom of expression". More broadly, it is generally terms such as "woke" or "wokism" that were found among the protesters of this new contract.
This contract is thus criticized for imposing on players a way of thinking that some do not like. There is indeed a part of the community claiming the right to say and do what it sees fit, whatever the subject and the chosen approach. While Blizzard now seems to openly and clearly oppose so-called "toxic" behavior, some feel that most of it is just "trolling" or a few out-of-place jokes at worst.
The most extreme of these remarks are now defended by those who are behind them, citing the fact that Blizzard was recently taken to court for having behaved in such a way towards some of its employees during many long years. For them, if the company behind the game committed such misdeeds with its employees, then doing so in a game would be defensible and acceptable: after all, who would they be to give a lesson in social life? to their players?
However, well beyond these players usually qualified as "conservatives", there is also a significant part of the community pointing the finger at the cruel lack of moderation in play. repressed. Until then, it was easy to ruin the gaming experience of one or more players without taking too many risks. Who has never come across a player deliberately choosing to play against his own team in a battlefield simply to harm his 14 other teammates for example?
This Social Contract would therefore be, according to this part of the community, a way for Blizzard to clear itself of the existence of such behavior since it is, still according to them, only a few lines that it is enough to accept before resuming their nefarious activities in Azeroth as normal.
Our opinion on the WoW Social Contract
Let's be clear: WoW's Social Contract is, in our opinion, one of the biggest changes to World of Warcraft since its inception. As such, it seems obvious that it could allow players to evolve healthily in the MMORPG they appreciate for the first time since 2005. Only here, it is the method and the implementation that seem to us more debatable.
The integration of such a regulation actually pushes open doors. No, it is not normal to insult another player. No, it is not okay to promote any kind of hate speech. No, it is still not acceptable to troll or harass players. Who would seriously say otherwise? However, integrating it clearly and simply into the game for the first time shows a strong desire from Blizzard to fight against these behaviors: players now know that they will no longer be tolerated in World of Warcraft. Even though the End User License Agreement already explained these things beforehand, it was as we mentioned earlier quite rarely read (and understandably). The behaviors to have or avoid in game were therefore mainly based on everyone's common sense.
And precisely: this new Social Contract is accompanied in game, from Patch 9.2.5, by multiple new reporting options! It's hard to say for the moment if these changes will have a real impact in game, everything will depend on Blizzard in reality. If the sanctions are more important and it is less complex to trace back to moderation that a player has behaved badly, as in League of Legends for example, then all this will undoubtedly be very beneficial in the long term. Otherwise, nothing will change. A policy of low tolerance must also, in our opinion, be applied: Blizzard must empower its players, not accept banal and ridiculous excuses as a pretext for these misdeeds: nothing justifies hatred; you're hateful, you take your ban'.
WoW 9.25 is just around the corner, and unsurprisingly, WOTLK Classic will follow. Whether it's WoW TBC Gold or WOTLK Classic Gold, you can buy it at MMOSO, safe, secure and cheap.