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WRUP: A moment of silence for 38 Studios

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Every week, just at the start of the weekend, we catch up with the WoW Insider staff and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" -- otherwise known as: WRUP. Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game, and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

In case you've been living under a rock the last 24 hours or so, one of the biggest stories in the gaming world right now is the collapse of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games. We didn't really cover it, since we're a World of Warcraft-focused site, but we're all gamers here. It stings to see an MMORPG crash and burn, but it hurts even more to see the devastation that the sudden fall of two companies in the industry has caused.

The situation for folks at 38 Studios is somewhat grim right now, though that's nothing new. Most of them had been working without pay since the beginning of the month. A lot of them were depending on the health insurance their job provided -- coverage which has since expired. All of them were just like us -- gamers at heart who just wanted to do something really cool to entertain you. Twitter has been rallying to help, but it's impossible to look at the situation without wishing there was something more you could do.

Beyond the employees, there are a lot of other victims of this debacle too. The taxpayers of Rhode Island are on the hook for a massive loan made to keep 38 afloat -- a loan which could total over $112 million by the time all is said and done. That's a $100 charge to every man, woman, and child currently living in the state. A number of Rhode Island officials who stuck their necks out for 38 have resigned in disgrace, though arguably, they had a lot to be disgraced over. I guess what I'm saying is that it's a bad situation all around.

Well, almost all around. One of the few people who got away clean, ironically, is company founder Curt Schilling, the baseball player who inexplicably started a video games company. He wrote himself a $4 million check from the 38 Studios bank account a few months ago, money that could have -- and should have -- gone to pay his employees that he watched work without pay. As someone from "Red Sox Nation," I feel I have the right to say this: Screw that guy.

So yeah, before we head into this week's WRUP, I want to have a brief moment of silence for 38 Studios and all the folks who were hurt by its downfall.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business

15 Minutes of Fame: Boubouille proves an MMO Champion

15 Minutes of Fame is our 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.

What does it take to bring WoW fanatics the freshest World of Warcraft news on the planet? Imagine, if you will, a guy who sleeps literally no more than three or four hours at a stretch so he won't miss any World of Warcraft news. Imagine a guy who spends hour upon hour digging through game database files searching for anything that appears remotely different. Imagine a guy who no longer raids because he's so weary from 10-hour stretches on the PTR (public test realm).

Meet Boubouille, the force behind MMO-Champion. The hard-working Boubouille is also one of the friendliest, most genuine voices in the WoWosphere. Ever notice how often WoW Insider links developments, new items and spells and breaking news back to MMO-Champion? While Boubouille's first on the money, he's also quick on the tips and first to share a really interesting scoop – that's just the way he rolls. We poked our heads into his insane, non-stop schedule to find out what keeps him ticking along and where MMO-Champion is headed as WoW evolves over time.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Earth Hour and WoW

Tonight the world will be celebrating Earth Hour, with individuals, cities and businesses turning off and unplugging as many of their electronics and lights as possible. How can you get involved when you have a scheduled raid, or when this is the only time for you to play today?

You need not feel pressured to unplug everything. Turn out as many lights as you can throughout your home, unplug the electronics and appliances in rooms you are not using, and consult Well Fed Buff for the perfect lights-out snack you can prepare before 8:00 p.m.

This event is important, not because it will change the entire world, but because it will send a message. Not only will we have the opportunity to think about our impact, and learn about just how much power the world did save in that one dark hour, but businesses and governments will realize just how serious people are today about the environment.

Gamers should be a part of that message. Lately, we have been garnering a poor reputation for ourselves, and not because we might all turn into mass murderers from staring all day violent images.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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