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Posts with tag gamer

Hi, Doris from HR, I write about dragons on the internet

Garrosh Hellscream, HR director for the Horde.
A little over a week ago, Anne Stickney wrote a post about her experiences trying to explain her life in World of Warcraft to her father, a nearly 83-year-old veteran who has had more real-life adventures than we have had fake ones. Striking a balance between that life we live in the online World of Warcraft and our real lives in the non-virtual world is something that every WoW player has to do, but the degree of our involvement in the game often dictates how hard it is to find that balance.

In the gay community, we very commonly describe coming out as a process that you don't only do once. During my day-to-day life, I might meet a new person, have someone from work ask if I'm dating anyone, friend someone from high school on Facebook, or write an article about coming out as a gamer for WoW Insider. Regardless of which situation fits you best, all of these are fairly regular situations that result in needing to come out again.

Being gay and being a gamer -- not as different as you'd think

I think the experiences of coming out as a gamer and coming out as gay have a few very important similarities. In both cases, they're secrets we tend to guard that aren't outwardly visual. Despite stereotypes, you can't actually know whether someone is gay unless they tell you. Likewise, you can't tell that the woman you just bumped into on the side of the road is actually a three-time Gladiator warrior unless you get into a conversation about it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Are you a closet nerd or a flag-waving nerd?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to

We all know about the idea of the overweight, basement-dwelling virgin, the idea that gamers and comic book nerds all look like the comic book guy from The Simpsons. Many of us know that is not the case. You even see people in trade chat calling each other "nerds" and "virgins," although the inevitable response of calling someone else a nerd in WoW is laughable. In my guild alone, we have a lawyer, an author and a chef, along with many happily married people with children. Some are openly proud of their nerdiness; some try to argue they aren't nerds over Vent.

My girlfriend hides her geek from a lot of her friends. She watches anime, is a gamer and even dresses up for our local comic book convention, but many of her friends and work associates have no idea about this side of her. Me, on the other hand -- I let the geek flag fly. I wear my gamer T-shirts. I talk openly about WoW and other games with my friends. I still complain about the fact Firefly never got a second season.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: Is it time for a change?

This Breakfast Topic is brought to you by's guest blogger program. Want to participate in a future call for guest posts? Read up on how to contribute, and keep an eye on the site for program announcements.

I've played World of Warcraft before and absolutely loved it -- I loved it until it became a second job for me. Then when I quit cold turkey, it turned into a bad break-up. I wanted to play it again but didn't want it consuming all of my time. I wanted to level without hating myself for sitting on a chair until my butt hurt, then finding a pillow and valiantly continuing on.

It's actually a deep, dark secret of mine (obviously not any more) that I never once got to the promised land that is level 80. I'll admit though, I had a lot of fun with the game. Hitting up instances and running through the well-written quests with friends was loads of fun. I wasn't a PvP god or anything, but I definitely had my good days back in my prime. I'll admit also that I still feel its callings now from time to time, and for all I know, I could be playing again tomorrow.

This brings me to an important question. What is it that keeps World of Warcraft players going strong? I remember when I first broke up with World of Warcraft, I went through an awkward rebound phase where I looked for any game I could find that would replace it. The sad part of this search was that I found myself wanting other games to be like Warcraft. The truth is, it may very well be the best one out there.

Even if it is the best, I want to know what gets people through the struggle of questing and grinding. As a semi-retired World of Warcraft gamer, I want to know if getting to the level cap is in fact worth the struggle. Is it the journey or the reward? What makes it all worth it to you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Fatal1ty talks WoW at CES

Say what you want about Fatal1ty and his endless selling out (we know you will), but the guy is a recognizable face, something that's a little hard to find in the world of professional gaming. Allakazham caught up with him at CES last week, and in between talking about how awesome he and his products were (sigh), they did get some good Warcraft talk out of him.

He's been taking advantage of Recruit a Friend, so he's got a Warrior, Rogue, and a Death Knight all to level 60 (unfortunately, I didn't hear him say which faction he plays). His Death Knight's "get over here" "grappling hook" have captured his imagination -- hopefully he'll stick with playing with his brother and get up to level 80 so he can see some of the endgame PvP. Unfortunately, he says he's not into PvE at all, which explains why he's going slow, but if he can push the last 20 levels, there's some fun stuff to be found..

And then it's back to the selling -- he says he's looking forward to sponsoring some players under his brand later this year (though he has no plans to play WoW professionally), and he pimps some equipment, too. It's not exactly a hard-hitting interview, but it is interesting to hear one of professional gaming's biggest names talk about his time in Azeroth.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, PvP, Quests, Death Knight

Blizzard C&Ds Datecraft, they redesign

I can't quite see the purpose of World of Warcraft (or gaming in general) flavored dating sites -- if you were looking for a potential partner, why limit yourself to only people that play this game? But nevertheless, there are quite a few of them around, so someone must be using them. Datecraft is a site that was specifically targeted World of Warcraft bachelors and bachelorettes -- at least until this past week, when Blizzard hit them up with a C&D.

Well, not actually -- they only got threatened with one. We heard from the site's founders, and they tell us that they got a call from Rod Rigole, a VP of Legal Affairs over at Blizzard, who told them to cut out using Blizzard's artwork and terminology on their website was a no-no, and that they would be recieving legal papers soon. Rather than pick a fight, they instead redesigned to the standard gamer dating site you see today.

But here's the kicker: they used an official fansite kit to actually make the site. Even with the stuff they give out, Blizzard seems extremely protective of their artistic IP -- they used this same technique to attack the WotLK wiki and the Glider folks as well. They'll let fans slide, it seems, but if you're making money off of their materials, beware.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Forums

WoW Mom! An interview with the newest newbie on the block

I got a call from my mom on Friday night that she was having an emergency and needed me to call. It turns out the emergency was that she bought World of Warcraft and needed some instruction on how to play. Since I was at work, I told her to get started by reading up a bit on the WoW Rookie until I could spend a little more time with her. I was excited and somewhat terrified. I really hope she likes it and doesn't get too frustrated the first week.

My mom isn't what you would call a gamer. I'm not going to tell you how old she is, but she could tell you where she was when Kennedy was assassinated. She's a master Euchre player and a wiz at Scrabble. Her video gaming experience is limited to Bejeweled and online versions of card games. She used to love me watch play Tetris, but would respond like the controller was made of lava when I tried to hand it to her. I invited her to join Dungeons and Dragons sessions, but she always declined.

I moved 2,000 miles from my native Michigan for graduate school about five years ago. Since then my interactions with my mom have been limited to phone conversations and the occasional short visit. I'm really glad to get to share this time with her.

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Filed under: How-tos, Virtual selves, Leveling, Classes, Interviews

Breakfast topic: Getting started in WoW

Before I started playing World of Warcraft, I hadn't played any other MMORPGS. As a matter of fact, I didn't even play video games regularly at all. I was always fascinated by hearing horror stories about the crazy things people did while playing Everquest. But I was also amazed by achievements and the vastness of the settings.

I've been playing WoW for about two years now. My boyfriend suggested I try it. I was hesitant to begin my adventures in Azeroth. I was afraid that buying the game would be a waste of money. I dragged my feet as I walked into the game store and grimaced a bit as the clerk swiped my debit card. I was dreadful at navigating in video games and was overwhelmed by the amount game knowledge it took to be successful. It took me about ten months to get my first level 60 character. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first started playing. I really wish I had discovered WoW Rookie sooner. In the end, I discovered that WoW is awesome. I love being part of the community.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Obese gamer collapses, dies after "marathon" gaming session

Well here we go again. Reuters is reporting that a Chinese gamer has died after a "marathon," weeklong gaming session. The 26-year-old apparently collapsed on Saturday after he spent the entire week before (he'd been on break because of the Lunar New Year's celebration) playing an unidentified online game. A local teacher says the reason he played games for a full week was that because of the holiday, "there are only two options. TV or computer. What else can I do in the holiday as all markets, KTV and cafeterias are shut down?"

Be prepared, I guess, to hear about this in all future media examinations of whether or not WoW is addictive. I won't argue that this isn't a sad thing to hear-- no matter what the real cause of this poor guy's death, there were serious problems there that should have been fixed a long time ago.

But I will note that the article mentions the 26-year-old weighed 330 lbs. Why doesn't the headline say "Food addict dies"? Also of note, the last line of the article says that China considers 13% of its Internet users under 18 addicted. WoW, according to "experts," is supposed to be 40% addicts, but neither figure, as far as I can see, actually says what they define as "addicts"-- are they setting the bar for "addiction" low or high?

Filed under: Virtual selves, News items

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