Is it time to stop the Mexicans flowing into WoW?

| Tuesday, August 17, 2010
If you live in America or you hear anything about America, you might have heard about what the media portrays as a veritable river of Mexicans, a Nile of North America, streaming across the border into the US. Some are legal, many are not, and all get labeled with the same stereotype: They don't want to learn the language or assimilate. There is some truth to this, since immigrants frequently do not want to assimilate. They want their old lives but with more freedom and money, though 'by accident' they assimilate almost completely within only a few generations.

One key factor that makes Mexicans stand out compared to other immigrant groups is that they keep coming. This means that at any given time there will be a large non-assimilated population. Whatever the actual rate of assimilation, this will make it appear to be lower. For example, using arbitrary numbers, if 10 enter each year and 9 assimilate per year, that's a very fast assimilation, but it will still result in a 'surplus' of 1 per year. This creates an appearance of a steadily growing population which refuses to assimilate, even if any given individual will eventually assimilate. If there were only a few years of immigration, then once inflow slows or stops, the assimilation rate will take over, but if immigration is ongoing over a long period of time, as has Mexican immigration to the United States, then the reverse happens.

I suspect noobs follow a similar pattern. A new player joins, is terrible, and then we all make fun of him. After a few weeks, months, or maybe years, he is better. But in the meantime, someone newer has joined and as before, they a terrible. We make fun of them, but are wondering, why are there still so many noobs? Repeat as long as needed, until one day we conclude that there must be a large portion of the player population which is irredeemably bad. Since we're not tracking individual players, we cannot see the effects of 'churn', only the apparently constant and disturbingly high portion of noobs.

I left out a lot of factors in assimilation, on purpose, because they were taking up too much of the post and ruining my WoW analogy. If for some reason you want the rest of the post, you can email me for it, but I thought it would be too distracting here.


Ratshag said...

Shoulda shut the fuhggin' doors in 1750, after me ancestors was all here. Woulda kept out all them non-assimilatifying Irish, Germans, Italians, Poles, Russians, Chinese, Africans, South-Asians, Japanese, Scandinavians, and Koreans. Been all downhill since we let them buggers in.

Oh, and especiallies them Frenchies. They's nuthin' but shiftless dirt-grubbin' losers.

Anonymous said...

Any reference to US culture makes me chuckle.

Anonymous said...

But what about the 2nd and 3rd generations that create their own form of "sub-assimilation"? If you've ever lived in a large city in a southern US border state you'll know what I'm talking about. They have created their own culture that is a branch away from the the previous two. In fact, I know many mexicans that would rather skip the border states and go northward because the people in the border states are "weird" to them.

Klepsacovic said...

@Ratshag: 1750? That's hardly Plymoth Rock. Get out, newcomer!

@Anonymous: No national culture is homogeneous, but perhaps the US least of all, which is why I laugh when I see nativists get in an uproar over the destruction of our culture. Still, I think there is some ethereal American culture of things like having some level of appreciation for hamburgers, hot dogs, calling football by the wrong name, and freedom. Sadly, the recent 'controversy' over a Msulin center not at ground zero has shown that there are a whole lot of fake Americans who clearly don't believe in freedom or our Constitution.

@Anonymous: You bring up an intersting concept: a partially assimilated group might still look very different from native citizens who more easily see the differences rather than the similarities.

Illtree said...

Should have closed the rock when my ancestors saw those boats comming. All we got was gunpowder and disease. Everyone can leave for all I care.

Quicksilver said...

Well, I guess everyone's worst fear is novelty... not surprising...

However, it's just one thing that doesn't hold in your analogy... in WoW the entrance of a new player, does not affect the already existing ones...

Illtree said...

It taxes my server, slows my LFG runs, and litters my chat with useless banter.

Tell me again how I'm not affected?

Tesh said...

I'm still waiting for the "Vanilla Wow F2P" to happen. I want to see old timer snobs cry.


Um... yeah, to run with the analogy... amnesty for private servers?

Slightly less tongue in cheek, I occasionally wonder just how much some players would be willing to pay for a legitimate private server, like a gated community. "One must simply keep the riff raff out, price is no object."

Klepsacovic said...

@mark: We taught you how to mass-produce tobacco in mildly radioactive fertilizer and then to smoke small amounts of it constantly so as to develop lung cancer, and as we all know, cancer cells are immortal, meaning that we gave you a little piece of immortality. To balance it out we killed a corresponding percentage of the population. I'm assuming you're native, hopefully I didn't completely misread.

@Okrane S: New players absolutely do affect the existing ones. Where do you think new raiders come from? Or the other people in LFD? Or old raiders? They were once new and their learning process then influences how they play now.

@mark again: The douches in trade might be old players who have nothing left to do. But maybe their audiences are new. Not that I'm disagreeing that new players clearly have some sort of effect.

@Tesh: Blizzard could sell eternal quitessence for $25 and somehow manage to sell out every single pixel. Yes, their servers would run out of pixels.

Ironically, gated communities require some way for people to get around the gate, or else they die out. In real life there are community boards and housing prices and that sort of thing, but how would they filter players in or out of private servers? I suppose they'd just end up as a series of blips as a guild or group of friends make one and eventually leave before some other group rents it out.

Cassandri said...

Gosh it's not just America. You should hear the ridiculous propangda going around in Australia about the "boat people" and "stopping the boat people" during the current federal election campaign.

An expert estimated that it would take well over 10 years to fill 1 football stadium with illegal immigrants who arrive by boat. It's like 5% of illegal immigrants or something.

It's so stupid. Nobody in their right mind would take such a dangerous journey (in which many die) to cross an ocean and start a new life here unless their live back home is absolutely miserable.

Let em in I say.

(ps maybe noobs are miserable in RL and we should welcome them to the magical world of escapism! er, World of Warcraft)

Anonymous said...


The thing about Australia is that it is essentially and island, and for the most part jobs are still paying well and/or unionized. Immigration is much more controllable in Australia. I know because I'm trying to emigrate there, but the requirements are extremely high. In the U.S. on the other hand, all the corporations are so excited to get cheap Mexican labor, that they are in no hurry to make immigration difficult.

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