HUIN206 – Blogpost 5 – Compare the use of avatars in WoW and sims Online
Avatars in Sims Online VS Avatars in World of Warcraft
In The Sims Online, the player will be represent by a virtual character, called a Sim. When you start the game, you will be able to customize your very own Sim. Your Sim can be either male or female. You can choose among different skin colors, hairstyles, facial attributes and clothes. (You will be able to buy more outfits for your character, once you start earning virtual money, called Simoleans.) The avatars are not limited to humans only, you can also choose it to be for instance a robot or an alien.
You can control your Sim by clicking on the screen to make it move and by clicking on objects to use them. The Sim will have certain needs that needs to be attended to constantly, like “sleep”, “hunger”, “to be social”, “hygiene” etc. It will even need to use the bathroom from time to time. If the avatar dies, you will be able to get it back to life.
In World of Warcraft, you will have to choose between two factions your avatar shall be part of. What faction you choose, will limit the amount of races you can choose for the character. “The Alliance” is one faction which consists of Humans, Dwarfes, Gnomes, Night Elves and Draenei. The opposing faction is “The Horde” consisting of Orcs, Trolls, Undead, Tauren and Blood Elves. If you choose one faction, your chatacter will not be able to communicate with members of the other faction. Your avatar will be able to attack avatars of the opposing faction, and will risk being attack by them as well. Once faction and race is set, you will be able to further customize the avatar by selecting hair style and color, skin color, facial hair and facial features. Your avatar can be either male or female. You can also choose what class your character shall be, which will determine by what means it will fight (magic, swords, bow, deamons etc). The type of clothes the character can wear will also be depending on what class you choose. Later in the game you will also be able to choose different professions for your avatar, so that it easier can make virtual money called gold, silver and copper.
You will be able to move your avatar around by using the arrow buttons on your keyboard, and you can also press keys that will make the character jump, draw its weapons, sit down, sleep etc. The charater will respond to your key presses instantly, and will not do any action that is not initiated by your key presses. Basically, you are the one controlling every single action of the character. The avatar will however, not have any basic needs like the Sims. It will not get tired, it will not require any food or have other bodily functions (it can drown though). Your character will fight and die… a lot. But you can get it back to life by simply moving your characters ghost from the graveyard and back to its corpse.
In my opinion, he different “needs” might make Sims avatar slightly more realistic than an avatar from WoW. A player is however able to control WoW avatars on a more personal level. In the Sims Online, you might feel like a god watching over your avatar, and ordering it around. The type of control you have over the Sim, will be through giving it orders. In WoW, on the other hand, you will be in complete control of every action of the avatar. You can not give it orders, since it is you controlling the character. You will therefore get the feeling that you ARE the character in this simulated world.
In conclution, the main difference between avatars from Sims Online and World of Warcraft, is that in Sims you are a god giving orders to one avatar, while in WoW you are the avatar.