Does this happen to you?
I walk into the Auction House. Its packed. The area in from of the auctioneers is jammed with a crowd of people. I say to myself, “darn, how am I going to get in there.” Then I laugh at myself for being an idiot, since I can move right through the characters in the crowd. Even so, I try to find a little empty space where I can squeeze in.
With no collision detection in the game, we all know that we can walk right through the other players and npc’s. We can stand right on top of/inside them if we want. However, I don’t do that if I can avoid it. When I am running through Ironforge, if I see I am about to run into/through someone I usually swerve out of the way. Its instinctive and natural. When I go to the mailbox, I will walk all the way around it to find an open spot to stand, rather than overlap another toon.
I am certain that I’m not alone in this. If I was the only one, then all the characters in front of the auctioneer would be superimposed in a single stack aligned with the door.
So why do we do that? Manners? An unwritten rule of the game? Latent RP tendencies? Do we need “personal space” for our virtual avatars?