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Breakfast Topic: When emotions catch you by surprise

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I'm not a roleplayer. Oh sure, there are times when my actions in the game can be considered of a roleplaying nature, but I don't play the game that way. I know all about roleplaying, as I played Dungeons & Dragons back when Gary Gygax used to lead DnD games in the basement of the store in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where he lived.

WoW really doesn't get to me. It's 1s and 0s contained on computers, and by pushing buttons, I cause those 1s and 0s to align in a certain way. Just because that certain way has not yet delivered my T2 gloves is not cause for me to get upset. It just means more runnings of Blackwing Lair. I've seen guild members lose 40 straight rolls on items and then turn around and win the next 40. As I remind my guild members, "Some days, you're the pigeon. Some days, you're the statue." It's nothing to get upset about.

This patch, however, caused a collision of the roleplaying and the computer worlds. Having read The Shattering, I knew what happened to Magni Bronzebeard, his sacrifice for his people. I was rather sad that when Cataclysm was released, there was no way to see what happened. When it was announced that Old Ironforge would be opened in Patch 4.1, I knew where I had to be the day before the patch.

The first thing I did, after logging in and before I fixed my UI, was to find Old Ironforge. I was totally unprepared for my emotional reaction to pixels. There he was, just like the book said -- a diamond, the former king of the dwarves now a solid piece of stone. I found myself getting emotional over this. This. Pixels, nothing more than pixels.

Maybe the fact that I'm a dwarf toon and into the lore of this world caused me to react. I've talked to other dwarves and races; if they aren't interested in the lore, Magni is just someplace they had to take their orphan during Children's Week. If they know something of the lore, being able to see Magni elicited an emotional response, and none of us were quite prepared for that.

It got me thinking, has something in the game provoked a response you weren't expecting? Were you happy? Sad? Angry? I found myself crying as I made my character kneel in front of this crystal. Did you have an emotional response to seeing Magni, or has the only thing that gotten to you been the random number generator's seeming to hate you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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