aol instant messenger and everquest both predate wow by years, not to mention muds and bbss. wow didn't introduce instant messaging or online social interaction.
FFS buff ret already Ghostcrawler, I mean come on!....Ahh those were the days.
Funny because Classic WoW has created the social experience. Sure, the novelty isn't there, but it's a true MMORPG. Retail wow is not an MMORPG. It's a queueing game, and all world content is meaningless and disastrously easily.
I myself personally really didn't "meet" many people online in my Vanilla days. I used ICQ and IRC more for that purpose back in the day. And then Skype. Not WoW. I think I only "met" like 2 to 3 people in WoW at most. "Met" in the sense of getting to talk to them beyond the game. But even those people completely vanished from my life.I think that the point about online communication today being more prevalent goes beyond "recreating the old experience" Ghostcrawler is talking about. It's not just that "meeting" people online is no longer new anymore. But with the increased collective experience with online communication, the... naivety of trusting people is completely gone. It's possible that today there is no more $%^&*!@s than there was back in the day. But now nobody really has any illusions about how high the chances are that you are gonna interact with a bad individual. The ignorance of being #$%^ed over by others or just getting into toxic relationships online made people more open to try it. More people trying led to more people succeeding in cases where it worked out. But also failing in cases where it didn't. And the cumulative experience over time led to people being closed off. At least that's my experience.
I'd like to see Blizzard try to bring back Greg Street in some form or another. He continues offer valuable insight even after being gone for so long? advisory role, perhaps? I wonder if Greg and Ion would work well together or if heads would butt :)
Is he high or thinking about Everquest? If he was talking about Everquest I'd have said 100% accurate. But uh. WoW? In 2004 you had AIM, MSN, Skype, Ventrillo, (Maybe teamspeak? I forget, we used ventrillo), ICQ, TONS AND TONS of things to connect to other people and chat either via IMs or voice. And kids using in game mail to contact fathers who couldn't email otherwise? Uh. Email's been around even longer than that. They can log into an MMO but not send an email? Sorry, but that's all horse poop.
For some of us, we'd had the internet for almost 10 years before WoW showed up so meeting friends online wasn't something new. To the majority of people it was, but there was still a big chunk (at the time) of people who were far more interested in the actual game part of the game instead of 'omg is that another human no wayyyyyyyy this is so futuristic and awesome'.