WoWzers.

The rumors are true. This past Saturday I attended the highly regarded virtual entertainment geek-fest, called Blizzcon (short for the Blizzard Entertainment Convention) at the Anaheim Convention Center. I somehow scored a highly coveted press pass through my boyfriend’s swell new gig as a writer and videographer for a popular video gaming website (that for all purposes of this blog shall remain nameless.) I was able to take pictures and lend them a hand with some images to use on their site, and also give Pete a hand with some of his interviews with Blizzcon attendees. I was also able to enter the press area and score things like free beverages, lunch meats, trail mix, and a first hand look at some of the new games with minimal to no wait period before playing. This would be really cool… if I could have figured out how to 1) turn left and 2) attack. I became embarrassed by my n00b status, and self consciously gave up my computer to the next nerd a few times… since they at least knew how to turn left and would not experience the same beat down that I had seemed to procure time and time again by what appeared to be a floating green monster with gigantic fists and super powers.

First off, let me explain to you that Blizzard Entertainment, is responsible for the game World of Warcraft, which the bulk of this convention was dedicated too– there was also a sneak peek at the new Diablo 3, and Starcraft, but really it was all about WoW (that’s right—we’re going to use abbreviations here.) and all that WoW is and has the potential to be. I don’t know if I have ever seen people so fully 100% excited about gaming. When I walked into the convention center I stopped in my tracks for at least 30 seconds, in pure shock and awe. The room was dissorientingly dark, the only lighting coming from discoesque ornamental light, and ornate but minimalistic lighting patters projecting the logo of Blizzcon onto the cement floors. The place was packed with all walks of life. There was a line wrapped around the WoW store that could rival a small army. As a WoWer it is imperative to be able to get into the merchandise area, and purchase one of a kind elf ears, Murloc head mounts, blow up daggers, masks, and many other types of regalia that can only be attained here at the Blizzcon Convention, and nowhere else. It is a WoW collectors dream, and duty to get into that store… this is why there are lines wrapping around the convention in order to get in, with waits as long as three hours before you even get to peek at the sale items. The waits to get into the store seemed to be as long as the waits to try out the new Diablo. Intense.

First order of business was to find Peter’s team and meet up before having to shoot an interview with…er…well, someone who does something on WoW, I am not quite sure what, I got lost… something technical. Anyway, the rest of the team was in the main hall watching a presentation explaining in great detail the features of the new expansion pack for WoW: Wrath of the Lich King. I sat down, in front of what I believed to be someone dressed up as a dead person with an oriental thatched hat, but I would later be corrected to find out that the person was dressed as a panda of sorts… in accordance to the brand of beer that is consumed in game. (Yes. this shit runs deep.) I was just happy to see my first real costume up close… be it dead guy or panda. I was so much of an outsider as I sat there and listened to this lecture. I just kind of clapped when others clapped, giving an enthusiastic “Woo hoo!” when I thought appropriate, and laughed when others laughed at game themed humor. How was I going to make it through the day without being exposed as a fake WoW-head… At least I had years of acting training to rely on to make me semi stealth and believable.

I was informed by Peter that the day prior was all of the stuff that sounded, to me, like a real darn tooting good time. There was a dance contest where people would mimic the celebratory dances done by their characters in game in order to compete against one another and battle it out for the best dance moves.. there was also a costume contest that I believe was capped off by some sort of hot lesbian kiss by it’s winners–two sexy lady elves making out–the wet dream of every 14 year old WoW face. I am actually not sure what “race” or “class” the winning costumes were, so my proposed elf fantasy is entirely fictional, and just lives in theory. There were however lots of “hot” girls dressed up as elves, complete with ears and scanty leather outfits walking around the convention and posing for pictures with bystanders.

I saw someone who had built themselves a working robotic “mount“, which is an animal of sorts that once you get to a certain level in the game you can obtain one and ride it, which will cut your travel time down exceptionally. This particular manufactured mount was pretty exceptional and in the form of a turtle. It was full on robotically functional and ride-able. Someone built that… just for Blizzcon. They built a robo-turtle, just for these two days of celebratory WoW fun. Seriously. This shit goes deep. I also had the pleasure of meeting a couple both dressed in a fully game based pirate apparel. They explained how it had been really challenging to obtain said threads in game, and they wanted to represent what they felt was overlooked and under-appreciated by a lot of WoW gamers. Word, my friends. Pirate on.

Later in the day we were able to sit in on a panel and prescreening of the Internet show The Guild. Now, I can understand the humor in the gaming world, but clearly not to the extent of my highly clued in fellow audience members. People were rolling on the floor laughing.. knee slapping laughing… i felt out of place.. much like one of these people might feel at a seminar on hip hop dance, or a wine tasting. (just guessing folks… my apologies to those of you who would feel highly comfortable at both a WoW convention and a hip hop dance seminar, and further more a wine tasting… you are highly more eclectic that I shall ever be.) After the screening of The Guild there was a huge line that formed to ask questions directly to the panel. I think the one that caught Peter and I both by surprise and made us laugh was “So, how did you guys form a guild?”… which was then followed by the response “Wait.. you know this show is fictional–right?” haha.

By the end of the day, I had seen some amazing things, and was able to fill up my piggy bank of WoW knowledge with at least fifty cents more than I came with…. and then some. Peter had to help his boss by taking forty or so WoW t-shirts our of her possession to somehow get back to another employee (these said tees are currently in my trunk.) while he did this mission (estimated time of about 45 mins or so) I was left talking to one of Peter’s coworkers. In this time, I learned not entirely by will, a whole slew of WoW terms and facts: about races, classes, who might pick what class to play depending on their actual real life personality, how many levels there are in game, the perks of playing in a guild, PVP play (that stands for player vs. player), what features are customizable to your character, at what level you might be able to attain a mount, that there is indeed something called an EPIC mount, that this employee is excited to use the code he received from blizzcon in order to play his new polar bear mount (only given out to people who attended blizzcon… real exclusive) some of the new features of the new WoW expansion pack, his wife’s inability to take WoW seriously enough to be in his guild…. okay… and so much more. You get the picture. Btw, the nerd who was feeding me all of these facts did not himself have a press badge, but instead just a normal attendee badge. I had out badged him. How did that happen? oops. I didn’t know what a Murloc was until that afternoon… I didn’t deserve the premium status. I was a poser.

After Pete returned from the T-shirt operation, we went upstairs to finally try out the games in the press room. This is when I figured out, like I stated in the beginning that I had NO idea how to play WoW. Honestly. I could not turn left. Clearly turning left was not in my last minute education given to me by Peter’s enthusiastic coworker. I was getting my ass kicked, so many ways. I could also not figure out how to properly attack my enemies. I did however figure out how to ride some type of dinosaur. Handy. I have a long way to go if I ever want to be able to keep up with the big guns at Blizzcon. I ain’t no level seventy, and that’s the truth.

signing off…

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~ by soartsyithurts on October 13, 2008.

One Response to “WoWzers.”

  1. Love it!!! You want to know what’s sad? Being married to a WoWer . . . I’m fully versed in all things WoW. It’s hilarious really. I could probably even have a convo about it. Glad it was a riot – I would have loved to see these people sooooo geeked about the game. Josh is really crapping his pants waiting for WotLK to come out *rolling eyes*. Love ya!

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