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15 Minutes of Fame: MIT Media Lab director Joichi Ito on WoW

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.

Let's get Joichi Ito's professional credentials out of the way first. The 44-year-old Japanese venture capitalist is the incoming director of the avant-garde MIT Media Laboratory. A self-professed "informal learner" (he dropped out of college twice and never finished a degree) now shines as one of the stars of the digital age, serving on the board of directors for Creative Commons, Technorati, ICANN, and Mozilla, and catching the wave as an early-bird investor in Last.fm, Flickr, and Twitter.

Currently a resident of Dubai (he moved there so he could get a better feel for the people and the region), he circumnavigates the globe a full two times every month in the course of his international pursuits. According to his Twitter stream, he's been scuba diving in Japan this week taking underwater radioactivity samples; after catching the bug to learn how to dive, he promptly became a master diver and now is a PADI open water instructor. He's the godson of psychedelic explorer Timothy Leary ...

... and a guild leader in World of Warcraft. "My feeling is that what we are doing in WoW represents in many ways the future of real time collaborative teams and leadership in an increasingly ad hoc, always-on, diversity intense and real-time environment," he wrote in his blog back in 2006. In fact, one of his presentations on WoW made it into an early incarnation of our Moviewatch feature in 2007.

So yeah, we're going to talk about WoW ... Need anything else to cement his gaming cred? Two more tidbits: Ito's GMed a WoW raiding guild since the original days of Molten Core, and he owns an actual handwritten map drawn by Richard Bartle, creator of the first MUD -- it's like the Magna Carta of gaming.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

WoW MOO cards!


I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that aside from being a writer here, I'm also a devoted WoW Insider reader. So when all the news from Blizzcon came out, I was glued to it from here in my own office. However, as I also knew Dragon*Con was just around the corner, I was scouring the writing of my co-workers for tips for Dragon*Con. This led to a reminder by Robin that I needed to get business cards, as well as a mention of something called "Moo cards."

Being a great big fan of things with completely silly and incongruous names, I clicked on the link and found the most interesting little culture had sprung up around these wee tiny little Moo cards. There are people leaving art Moos for others to find, Moo swaps where you mail your Moo card(s) in trade for other people's Moos, and even an around-the-world Moo. But as I was going to Dragon*Con, it struck me as a perfect time to check into these Moo cards and get some for myself!

Over the course of planning, I linked the cards to Elizabeth H., who also ordered some for Dragon*Con. Almost as soon as I received my cards, the folks over on the Wonderland Blog posted pictures of a booklet of the coolest Moo stickers made entirely with WoW in-game icons. Thus the WoW Moo-vement began around here.

While not as serious-looking as the official Weblogs, Inc. business card is, I really must admit, I love my WoW MOO cards. To me, they fit the overall spirit of WoW Insider (fun!) as well as finally giving me a use for the gigs of WoW screen-shots I have on my computer. I'd be willing to bet as Elizabeth and I hand them out at Dragon*Con to other folks we meet, our tiny World of Warcraft Moo cards won't soon be forgotten!

Gallery: WoW Moos

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends, Galleries

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