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Why World of Warcraft matters

World of Warcraft has transformed the way we think about videogames and popular culture. But it's also helped to change the way we think about ourselves

By Tom Chatfield   December 2009

It’s five years today since the world’s most famous computer game, World of Warcraft, began. And I’m both proud and slightly embarrassed to say that I’ve been there since the beginning, in the company of friends, an ever-shifting circle of guild-mates and my wife (who has asked me to point out that she’s considerably better at the game than I am)—something I’ve written about in a little more detail on our blog.

I believe that World of Warcraft matters. Exactly how and why it matters, though, can be hard to get at from the outside; much of what reaches the…

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