Being an athlete, I have often heard people claim that sports both reveals character and builds character. My own experience supports these claims and hence I agree with them. While video games like WoW are not exactly like sports (sports requires a degree of fitness, WoW does not) they do seem to have the potential to both reveal and build character (both the game character and the real character of the player).
Instances and raids (which are basically tougher instances) often are the best opportunities to see a person’s character. In the latest expansion to WoW, raids and instances are rather challenging and wipes (everyone dying) are not uncommon and people react to these set backs in various ways.
Assuming that the wipe was not caused by stupidity or intentionally (people actually do this and then leave the party), most people are willing to make another go of it. However, some folks immediately leave or spend the next several minutes tossing around blame or bitching rather than working out a better strategy. I suspect that the approach a person takes in instances also matches their real-life approach to set backs. For example, I will stick with a challenge in real life until I succeed or until it becomes evident that success is either not possible or simply too costly. I take the same approach to instance wipes-I will keep at it until I succeed or it becomes evident that we are all just wasting our time.
Interestingly enough, wipes can also be a character building experience. To steal a bit from Aristotle, what we do is what we are (or become). Someone who gives up in the face of a wipe learns to be a quitter. Those who complain and cast blame, learn to do those things. Those who consider why the group died and work on a better strategy learn an effective way to deal with setbacks and problems.
That said, it is also important to learn to recognize when the game is not worth the candle (or the electricity, to update that saying a bit). While persevering in the face of a failure can be laudable, there is a point at which pressing on is a bad idea. In the case of WoW, there are times when the group dynamic is simply “off” or people are too tired and frustrated as well. There is a wisdom in knowing when to call the fight and return to face it again another day.