These were normal people. They had friends outside of WoW, but Moonstears wouldn't be one of them. Hatred had crossed over from the game to real life, but why?
Subconsciously, maybe players know that even though they play the same game, they can never actually play with their new friend. Perhaps they assume that since their enemies are so nasty and violent in the game, they must be equally unpleasant in real life. Since almost all interactions with the opposing faction are hostile, it's easy to come to the conclusion that the whole faction is morally corrupt, in both the game and the real world.
If you haven't already noticed, all the anecdotes and perspectives I've mentioned are from the Alliance point of view. I simply couldn't find any Horde players to talk to, in WoW or real life. I suppose that in itself says a lot about how World of Warcraft has affected me.
Actually, I do know one Horde...
Soon after my girlfriend and I began dating, I convinced her to play World of Warcraft. In a matter of weeks, she has become the most bloodthirsty, brutal Horde-hunting player I have ever met. We've talked about my theories behind Horde and Alliance hostilities, but the "why" doesn't matter to her. She just wants to kill as many Horde as possible.
Her brother has three Level 70 Horde characters. He was pretty serious when he told his sister that she couldn't play Alliance - or date them. But he also used to pull on her pigtails when they were growing up. In my girlfriend's case, the source of her Horde hostility - in the game and real life - could be that simple.
He's Horde, we've never met in person and I'm dating his sister. Thanksgiving is going to be rough.
George Page is a pen for hire when not writing short stories or blogging at tgapgeorge.blogspot.com. His first videogame was on a floppy disk the size of a bread plate and involved moving a cursor around. He's been infatuated and mesmerized ever since.