As Anne pointed out in today's Queue, we are wishing the inimitable Chris Metzen a happy birthday today, and it's a pleasant coincidence that Blizzard is also wishing WoW its official happy birthday today, as well. Nine years is a long time for any one game to be going strong--though, of course, we could probably argue that WoW isn't a single mere game, it's a conglomeration of all its marvelous patches, expansions, tweaks, and adjustments from over the years.
Blizzard's official happy birthday announcement focuses on the strength of the WoW community, and I feel that whether or not you're entirely pleased with the direction the game is taking at the moment, the WoW community is definitely something that inspires and humbles. We're all just people, and we're not always perfect, but over the last nine years WoW has certainly had an enormous impact on the lives of its many players, myself included. World of Warcraft has catalyzed a complete transformation of my career and has formed the initial glue for some of the most cherished friendships of my life. Earlier this year I was at the wedding of two of my best friends, who met each other through WoW. What an amazing gift this game has been to my life, and to the lives of many others. Thank you Blizzard, from the bottom of my heart, and happy birthday, World of Warcraft.