A documentary called The Raid was released recently, with its first broadcast being the live stream that I just linked to a recording of. If you'd like to watch it, you'll have to skip past the talking heads at the beginning, but otherwise it seems pretty intact.
Sadly, it's fairly underwhelming. I think that there are interesting places to go with a documentary that chooses and follows a certain small group of people, but this documentary didn't go to those places. Instead, it went to the same places we've already been: sort of tired pontificating about MMOs in general, hand in hand with a gently flailing attempt to explain the appeal of the hobby.
We've seen all of that before.
The documentary I would have liked to have seen would have been one that followed a raid team's progression. The ideal would have been to find a team that was just forming, where the people hadn't necessarily known each other a long time, and really dig into how that team meshed or didn't mesh. Further, the footage of the actual boss encounters had no context and no explanation. Why not? He had interviews with raiders talking about how hard things were, how important teamwork is, all of the sorts of motivational poster things we say about our hobby.
Why not get into that?
Why not illustrated Ventrilo recordings of the raid team figuring out how they'll tackle an encounter? As in, play the audio of a recording while on the screen you have someone illustrating the suggestions and corrections? "Ok so we'll start with Putricide in the center of the room. When the slimes come out, I'll need the fixate target to run North while the rest of the raid stacks up for the impact of the green slime." I think that - especially for something called "The Raid" - they missed a golden opportunity to do things like compare first wipes with final kill pulls. Disappointing.
There was also sort of a stupid quote from Lore, of Tankspot. The specifics aren't important, just that Yet Again someone felt the need to place an entire gender into one neatly compartmented box. I wish we'd get over this behavior. Humans, while we share commonalities with each other, are unique. People are good, bad, and mediocre at the game, as they are at anything. We vary. There is no variance that you have encountered that is a sound basis for saying that all (or even the mealy-mouthed "most") members of any given set share some particular traits. Just stop it.
A couple days after I watched the documentary, a person on WoW_Ladies also linked this article about "guild princesses". I largely agree with it, although I know that we have at least one woman in the guild who's uncomfortable with it. There's also a fair criticism to be made of it along the lines of it being a little patronizing (teehee, feminist patronizing, giggle) to say "oh, she just hasn't figured out enough feminism yet". Still, I think you can remove that particular statement and it still works. If you're in a guild with what you consider to be a guild princess, and especially if you're a woman, I think it's worthwhile to remember the forces that may be acting on her. Sure, she's responsible for her choices, but those choices aren't made in a vacuum - we all live in a culture whose ideal person tends to be the Straight White Male.
For those of us that are never going to be that, it can be tough to remember that we have our own intrinsic value and we don't need to steal any from our fellows.
Luckily, any sort of discussion of that sort of stuff is academic for me at this point. We care for each other in my guild because we know and like each other. Even if there was anything to be gained from some sort of manipulative behavior - and there isn't, you need merely ask for a thing and if we can help, we will - who would anyone manipulate?
Lord what I wouldn't give for a paid guild name change, though.