Getting Tenure in World of Warcraft

Along the lines of “well there goes graduation!” for some college students who get too sucked into a video game, I once had a newly-minted PhD starting his first gig in academia tell me, after starting to play World of Warcraft, “well there goes tenure!”

So good news! If you’re worried that you might not make it from assistant to associate to full professor in real life, then you can do it virtually. The latest WoW expansion, Cataclysm, includes a new profession – archaeology. And one of the rewards in archaeology are titles for your character for unearthing “rare” artifacts. On your first, you’re an assistant professor; on the tenth, an associate professor; and on the twentieth, just “professor.”

Of course, anecdotes from online forums and such tell me that it could take as much as 100 hours of doing nothing but digging to earn the right to bear “professor” in front of your avatar’s name. But at least there are some perks along the way, like finding a recipe that will let you turn yourself into a dragon. Or, you know, just the joy of hanging out with Harrison Jones.

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