Meet The Truants. A guild of academics who are also trolls, taurens and orcs – and who wrote the articles in Digital Culture, Play and Identity: A World of Warcraft Reader.

<img decoding=

This wonderful graphic is from an article about the guild and the anthology in Dagens NÊringsliv yesterday. The full text of the article is online, but to see the image properly you have to buy the paper – or buy a PDF of the article.

Oh, and if you’re interested in joining the Truants, and you’re a researcher of games playing on the European World of Warcraft servers, contact Torill Mortensen, our excellent guild leader.

7 thoughts on “meet the truants

  1. Trevor Dodge

    Hi Jill,

    My podcasting partner Shane and I are getting ready to pull together an entire episode dedicated to discussing your book Digital Culture, Play and Identity. I posted a comment on here a couple months back and you expressed interest in possibly participating; might we be able to make this happen after all?

    Many thanks and continued best wishes!


  2. Chris Hotz

    Hello all!

    I’m working on a special project currently based on deviancy in WoW. After finding this out, my mother (who is working towards a doctorate in teaching) bought me your book, which I jumped to reading. I’m not sure how active you guys are right now (I couldn’t find you on armory). Regardless, I wanted to see if I could get in contact with you at all, maybe join the guild (Unfortunately, I’d join as a death knight, simply because I’ve already got two 80s, and I personally don’t want to grind another. Their names are Kornith and Rogthane).

    Thanks for your time!

  3. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Chris, I wrote you a separate email – I’m not playing WoW myself anymore, but the research guild is still active. Contact Torill Mortensen who’s the guild mistress. Our guild is on the EU servers though, your email address suggests you’re in the US…

  4. Allison Kendrick

    Hi, I not only have 4 80s so far on WoW, but I am researching WoW’s achievement system for my doctorate in Instructional Design for Online learning. I am attempting to ascertain how such an system uses the affirmative domain, and then how to use a similar system to help Asperger Syndrome (Autistic learners who are high functioning, have trouble with social skills, and usually focus on one area of content to the exclusion of all others) learn content they are not as interested in. I have your book, but thought that joining up with your research group might help me to write about WoW from a professional point of view.


    Allison Kendrick

  5. Simona Klaus

    Hi, I’m a postgraduate student at University of Ljubljana, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, and currently working on my PhD. I have been playing Warcraft for many years now, which also got me thinking about games in the context of my studies. I have written an article comparing heroes in contemporary FRP games to heroes in ancient mythologies. The article has been well accepted at a conference and is due to be published later this year. I wish to continue researching in this area, and have just bought your book, the Warcraft reader. I find your idea highly interesting and would like, if possible, be given the chance to join your guild and discuss with your colleagues. I would like to know if that is possible and also on which server you play, so I can find you. I tried getting in contact with Torill Mortensen via email, but have not been able to get her email address anywhere. Can you help me?
    Thank you very much and best regards,
    Simona Klaus

  6. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Allison, I don’t play WoW anymore, but you can find Torill’s email address by searching for her name at the IT University in Copenhagen, which is where she currently works.

  7. […] Then I started my Masters year of uni, and settled on character design as a base for my thesis. And, of course, which type of video games give you the most character customisation? And which of these is the most popular worldwide? You can’t argue with over 12 million subscribers around the world. This game is big. It also helped that my project supervisor is a WoW player; but is also part of The Truants guild, made up of academics and scholars who often use their in-game experience to write essays and articles about game culture. He suggested a book to help me with my research- and I wasn’t too surprised to hear it was a WoW Reader. What I am surprised by is how much I’m enjoying reading it; it was adding a whole new dimension to the game, from the type of academic-analysis point of view that I can relate to. […]

Leave a Reply to Jill Walker Rettberg Cancel reply

Recommended Posts

Triple book talk: Watch James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me discuss our 2023 books

Thanks to everyone who came to the triple book talk of three recent books on machine vision by James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me, and thanks for excellent questions. Several people have emailed to asked if we recorded it, and yes we did! Here you go! James and Jussi’s books […]

Image on a black background of a human hand holding a graphic showing the word AI with a blue circuit board pattern inside surrounded by blurred blue and yellow dots and a concentric circular blue design.
AI and algorithmic culture Machine Vision

Four visual registers for imaginaries of machine vision

I’m thrilled to announce another publication from our European Research Council (ERC)-funded research project on Machine Vision: Gabriele de Setaand Anya Shchetvina‘s paper analysing how Chinese AI companies visually present machine vision technologies. They find that the Chinese machine vision imaginary is global, blue and competitive.  De Seta, Gabriele, and Anya Shchetvina. “Imagining Machine […]

Do people flock to talks about ChatGPT because they are scared?

Whenever I give talks about ChatGPT and LLMs, whether to ninth graders, businesses or journalists, I meet people who are hungry for information, who really want to understand this new technology. I’ve interpreted this as interest and a need to understand – but yesterday, Eirik Solheim said that every time […]