So I have been thinking, and i have been thinking a lot. I did not want to just rush out an idea without any research or without having thought it thoroughly through. So here comes my thesis idea - World Of Warcraft: A social commentary on contemporary American society concerning it self with popular culture, stereotypes and historic events.
Here is a little bit about the three major points of my thesis.
Popular culture: I think this is important if anybody would like to historically analyze world of warcraft in the future and what they could learn about the audience of world of warcraft if they were to look at all the hidden references to popular culture.
Here are some hints at popular culture from the game:
Character named Nikova Raskol (obviously represents Raskolnikov) one of the major characters in Fyodor Dostoevskys Crime and Punishment. There is also a quest named Crime and Punishment.
A barmaid (or perhaps a prostitute) in the Lower City (of Shattrath) is named Haris Pilton with her dog Tinkerbell - clearly a refernce to Paris Hilton and her cat tinkerbell.
These are just two of the countless examples (literally 100 references) of what people are into today...and amongst them: Paris Hilton gossip and russian literature. However, there is certainly more references to things such as films (Napolean Dynamite, Fight club), Music (Britney Spears, Eminem, Dead Kennedys, Pink Floyd), Literature (Shakespear, Whitman), Games (Lost Vikings, Zero Wing, Duke Nukem) and much much more.
Stereotypes: This is a short one here, although I would elaborate in the actual essay. Races in world of warcraft (humans, orcs, dwarves, tauren, etc) clearly represent human races and their respective stereotypes.
Dwarves for example speak with a thick Scottish accent and like to drink their brew.
Blood Elves represent the British and American stereotypes of arrogance and feelings of superiority with a hint of stupidity.
Tauren represent native Americans who live in the hilltops in tepees. They enjoy ancestor worship.
Humans represent Arthurian ideology of honor and chivalry. Etc.
(Before you grab a rope, I do not necessarily agree with any of these stereotypes I am just doing analysis).
Some of these stereotypes are funny, others outright offensive and politically incorrect. But they do serve an important purpose...people in the future could study American racial stereotypes from their representation in a video game.
Historic Events: Lastly is my views on historic events that are represented in the world of warcraft. There is a series of references to ideological and historic problems such as the holocaust (orc genocide by humans), the spanish inquisition (the scarlet's crusade violence), and disease/plague (the scourge).