Humans

Introductory video

Physical appearance

The Humans follow typical fantasy representations of gender: ultra-masculine men, ultra-feminine women. Big muscles in the former, and big breasts in the latter.

Human femaleHuman male

The men do one of Travolta’s discos from Saturday Night Fever, and the women do the Macarena.

Language

Standard American English, the variety associated with not only whiteness but with correctness.

Architecture

Stormwind, the Humans’ capital city, is decidedly European: Medieval in style, with some Romanesque elements to the main buildings of interest. It boasts an early-mid gothic cathedral, the Cathedral of Light. It also contains a lot of smaller buildings with the half-timbering characteristic of the Tudor style.

The front gate of Stormwind City.

The front gate of Stormwind City. Source: http://www.wowwiki.com/Category:City_screenshots

The Old Town section of Stormwind. Notice the Tudor framing.

The Old Town section of Stormwind. Notice the Tudor framing.

Stormwind's Cathedral of Light. Source: http://www.wowwiki.com/Category:City_screenshots

Stormwind's Cathedral of Light. Source: http://www.wowwiki.com/Category:City_screenshots

Lore

They’re technologically and scientifically medieval. Existing in a universe in which magic exists, the Humans tend to practice it more than engineering or science. They rely on their more engineering-inclined allies, the Dwarves and Gnomes, for siege weapons, airships, and various other machines. Humans prefer medieval-level metallurgy and weaponry: swords, shields, plate armor. In this, they are no different than the humans in Tolkien or other high fantasy.

They’re Catholic. Sort of. The humans’ religion, the Church of the Holy Light, is an organization of bishops and priests devoted to the virtues of respect, tenacity, and compassion. The Church doesn’t worship a particular deity, but it follows a Judeo-Christian ethic, and its similarities to the medieval Catholic church are numerous – all-male clergy organized hierarchically, cathedrals, a militant wing of paladins.

They’re white America. If it wasn’t obvious from the evidence already presented, the Humans are representationally white in all kinds of ways. One of the primary characteristics of WoW‘s Humans, especially in contrast to most of the other races, is that they’re a young race, and relatively short-lived; but they make up for it in population and ambition. I read this as a potential parallel to the U.S., a young country that rose to power incredibly quickly. I also see parallels between the ways the Humans are described and the ways that white Americans have historically described themselves. The avatar-creation menu, with only one adjective to give each race, applies “noble” to the Humans; and their opening video calls them a “resilient breed” that “stand resolute in their charge to maintain the honor and might of humanity in an ever-darkening world.” Interestingly, the lore narrates a number of Human acts that have been decidedly ignoble; for instance, in the Troll Wars, they helped Elves settle in Troll territory and destroy the Trolls that fought the incursion. However, the lore dwells much more on the Humans’ good deeds than their crimes, not unlike most versions of U.S. history written by and for whites.

Leave a Reply