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Posts with tag npr on NPR

This Tuesday morning while everyone else was lamenting weekly maintenance, I headed down to the local NPR studios to sit in a very quiet, empty studio -- and chat about World of Warcraft with illustrious individuals in distant lands on WBUR's On Point. I joined William Sims Bainbridge (author of The Warcraft Civilization, which is available in stores today) and host Tom Ashbrook for an hour-long discussion on the meaning behind World of Warcraft.

Can we really use events in WoW predict the future? Is WoW the first real afterlife? Is the game world dangerous and addicting -- or a great place to connect with friends and co-workers?

If you're interested in catching our discussion, it's available for streaming online or you can download it (as well as past and future editions of On Point) as a podcast on iTunes.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business running an instance live on tomorrow at 4pm central

I've been working in coordination with a group called here in Chicago for the past few weeks -- they're a community-oriented division of the public radio station WBEZ (the same station that produces NPR shows like "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" and "This American Life"), and I've been doing some interviews with their in-studio host. A few weeks ago, we talked to a psychologist friend of mine about video game violence and addiction, last week we chatted with da_bears, a professional gamer here in Chicago (who recently got into World of Warcraft), and this week, we're doing something extra special: I'll be running an instance together with a five-man group live on the air. It'll start up at 4pm central both live on (and live on the air in Chicago at 89.5FM). As I run through the instance live on the air (I haven't decided which one yet, though I'm thinking Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle or maybe Heroic Old Kingdom), we'll be talking about WoW and other MMOs, why these games are so fascinating, and what it's like to run with a group of five different people, all playing different roles with different abilities.

It should be interesting to say the least -- while the segment will likely be directed at people not as familiar with World of Warcraft as you guys, I'll be sure to keep it interesting even for veteran WoW players (and if we wipe, you can at least laugh at me for being a noob Hunter). I believe we'll also be taking phone calls in the middle of all of this, so if you want, you can probably call up and talk some WoW with me as well.

This all begins tomorrow, Wednesday afternoon at 4pm central time, both online at and live on the air in Chicago, so if you're available to tune in and give us a listen, please do. I have no idea what will happen (has anyone ever tried to run an instance live on the radio before?), but it should be a lot of fun.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Is WoW the new Cheers?

NPR has touched on World of Warcraft before, but with less than pleasant things to say about the game. This time the game was featured the report was given in a better light, largely in part because of the fact that the reporter interviewed her own guild. That's right, she's a player, and so provides an overview of the game from the perspective of someone that knows it intimately.

Celeste Headlee, or as I prefer to call her Rosetta of the guild Vengeance, talks about the social aspects of the game. Rosetta interviews members of her own guild, and includes chat sessions in her piece from a particularly bad Prince Malchezaar fight (and might I say the in-game voice chat she uses sounds a lot clearer than when I tried it.) She says that WoW is the modern-day Cheers, a meeting place where players gather mostly to socialize. This game may even be a model for a future virtual workplace, where people log in to meet about their projects using an avatar in a game like WoW instead of a video conference call.

While I think the idea of the modern Cheers is a bit silly, I do have to agree that I log in to spend time with my friends. No matter where I move to or what job I happen to get, those friends I have met in WoW will be there for me whenever I need them, and vice versa. It is the social aspect of an MMO that makes it so enjoyable, and I have made more friends in WoW than I have in any other online game.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

NPR sympathetic to goldfarmers

When Friiv tipped us to the recent NPR interview dealing with goldfarming, I was eager to take a listen. Finally, a non-gamer media outlet will hear our frustration. How wrong I was. The interview, which ran on May 14th takes a completely different view of the goldfarming phenomenon.

A lot about what bothers me about goldfarming is imagining the conditions in which the farmers must be working, and indeed the interview did liken the goldfarming companies to Nike sweatshops. Tens of thousands of Chinese workers sit for 12 hours shifts hunched over computer screens, standing in the same spot in game and killing the same monster over and over. The gold they make in a day's work goes for around $13.00 in the , but would only sell for $4.00 in .

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Economy

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