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15 Minutes of Fame: Cory Doctorow on gold farming

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

A conversation with Cory Doctorow plunges into the matter at hand so quickly that it's almost impossible not to imagine yourself falling through an internet-era rabbit hole of pop culture and technology. Doctorow is all about synthesizing ideas and spitting them out in as accessible a fashion as possible, and the ground he manages to cover in a single stride can be mind-boggling; he's a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger, father, gamer ... A former WoW player and husband of gaming standout Alice Taylor (also previously profiled here in 15 Minutes of Fame), he's widely known as the co-editor of Boing Boing and author of the bestselling young adult novel Little Brother.

Doctorow's latest young adult novel, For the Win, pries open the seams of the shady scene behind MMO gold farming. Its young protagonists are gold farmers and gamers themselves. Doctorow has woven his own experience and sensibilities with focused research to outline a world of gold farming that sprawls far beyond the lines of cartoon-image gold farmers that most of us have painted in our heads. We chatted by phone with Doctorow for this lengthy conversation on gold farming and game economies, plus a companion piece at our sister publication Massively.com on gaming culture and his recent fiction.

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Filed under: Economy, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW in the running for Game of the Decade

2009 is coming to a close, and with it, "the aughts," which means we're about to get flooded with list after list of the best of the decade. It's been a raucous ten years for gaming (some, including me, might call it the best ten years in gaming so far), and Crispy Gamer is the first to step up and try to pick the best games we've seen so far. In their Game of the Decade showdown, World of Warcraft is still in the running, up against Bioware's legendary Knights of the Old Republic RPG, as the latest post has readers trying to pick the final four choices. If you think our game is more deserving than KotOR (note that this isn't the MMO, it's the old RPG with your friendly meatbag hater droid, HK-47), you can vote for WoW over on this page until Tuesday at 6pm.

KotOR is a great game, but as a decade-defining game, I'd have to think WoW will pull that one off. After that, though, there's some tough competition: BioShock and Half-Life 2 are up against each other, Halo and Left 4 Dead are facing off in another bracket, and Super Smash Brothers Melee and Shadow of the Colossus (which I guess I need to go play now) are the challengers in the third. I have to say -- as a "Game of the Decade," BioShock and Half-Life 2 are definitely in competition, but if you want to pick a game which has really defined both the online and casual gaming movements of the last ten years? We'll have to see what the readers choose, but I'd have to think World of Warcraft is your game.

[ via BlizzPlanet and kyleorl ]

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

15 Minutes of Fame: Alice in Warcraftland


15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Who's on your list of the proverbial 10 People to Invite to My Dream Dinner Party? Leave a spot for Alice Taylor. When it comes to gaming and geekery, there's nowhere you won't find traces of Alice and her self-mocking, good-natured humor. She's the face behind the popular social media and gaming blog Wonderland Blog. She commissions cross-platform education content for teens for Channel 4. As a gaming writer, she's been seen at BBC News, Kotaku, The Guardian and Paste. She was a semi-pro Quake player on the UK's first Quake team. She's an indie crafts maven. You may have heard of her husband, Cory Doctorow. Oh -- and of course, she's a WoW player.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Wrath is one of BigD's most anticipated games


Our sister site Big Download, purveyor of all things PC games, have released their list of the most anticipated PC titles for the rest of the year, and as you might imagine, Wrath of the Lich King is posted in there, nestled in among other sure-to-be-giants like Spore and Left 4 Dead. The game that's expected to be WoW's big MMO competition this fall, Warhammer Online, is in there as well, so for those of you who are PC gamers, the Fall and Winter future looks particularly bright (even if it does seem a little slow lately).

Of course, we have no idea how WoW's second expansion will fare on retail shelves this Fall, but all of the ingredients are there -- WoW is experiencing a resurgence lately (thanks in part to Blizzard's Recuit-a-friend promotion), and the news out of the beta has been nothing but encouraging for most everybody. Burning Crusade was gigantic, and that was back when 8 million were playing the game. All indications are that Blizzard stands to rake in the cash when their expansion goes on sale later this year.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

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