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Posts with tag reality

WoW Moviewatch: Reality

I try to moderate how many clip machinima videos I post here. Yes, WoW is pretty awesomely beautiful, and the landscapes are so tasty I wish I could stick my tongue through the monitor and lick it. We all pretty much agree that WoW is pretty. While I'm always down with helping to encourage creativity and new videos, if I posted every landscape and clip video I receive, this column wouldn't have room for all the blood elf rap videos you kids like so much.

Reality is basically a series of clips strung together with some background music. Our minds weren't blown away yet. You know what made the difference? This video is gorgeous. Maybe it's something about the original material's resolution or the well-chosen colors, or maybe I'm just seeing colors as super-vivid today. But this is just a gorgeous piece of eye candy. Take the time check it out; hopefully, you'll feel the same.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Breakfast Topic: Too powerful

I like Nibuca's little writeup recently from her blog asking what happens when we become just too powerful to care? Just like her, I've played a full, months-and-months, session of D&D before, and by the time your characters start to flirt with level 20 (the maximum level in that system), you're so powerful that the story barely makes sense any more -- you're crossing planes of existence, unweaving and re-weaving the fabric of reality, and taking down gods, more or less. Once you've vanquished evil from the earth four or five times, yet another threat doesn't bother you so much.

And to a certain extent, that's exactly what's happening with World of Warcraft -- when the game first started, the devs casually threw out there that it would take 40 level 80s to take Arthas down, which was of course a guess based on what raiding was at the time. But nowadays, we're all level 80, you only need five people to go after Arthas, and very soon, even someone like Deathwing will seem conquerable. In the next expansion, we already know that we're going to transverse some planes of existence, and when you're a being that can do that, why bother fighting frost wyrms? Just escape their reality and/or will them out of yours.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Leveling, Talents, NPCs

All the World's a Stage: Ten Commandments of Roleplaying

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

Insider is not Mount Sinai, and I am certainly not the Burning Bush, but there is a need for a clear, concise list of "do's and don'ts" which new and experienced roleplayers can refer to in times of need. I therefore submit the following commandments as a guide and a reference to roleplayers throughout the World of Warcraft.

Obviously the list of essential rules I lay out here will be different from a list you might make, but hopefully the basic ideas remain the same. In addition, being as I am hardly a prophet of the Almighty, I reserve the right to edit these commandments over time as times change and new insights emerge.

1. Thou shalt not play God.

You only have control over the actions of your own character. When roleplaying with others, you must never ever use an emote or action which denies others the right to choose their own actions in response to yours. For example: "Moosis glares with white hot anger at Faro" is acceptable; "Moosis glares so intensely that Faro's face melts" is not. Whether or not two people's characters are fighting with each other, their act of roleplaying itself is essentially cooperative -- even in a battle of emotes, both players must work together to tell the story in an interesting way, neither one presuming what the other will do.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

RP Spotlight: Impermanent death

Mystic Chicanery's Nibuca says she isn't really a roleplayer, but nonetheless has made an interesting observation with big implications for roleplayers. "If Azeroth were real," she asks, "what would be the cultural implications of an impermanent death?"

We all know that death is a one-way journey in reality: death's permanence affects everything we do in this world -- all our laws, customs, and moral values. Yet in Azeroth it is not so: the main consequence of dying is a tedious and expensive "corpse run" for your ghost to retrieve your body. If this sort of impermanent death were a reality on Earth as it is in Azeroth, then everything about our world would be changed. As Nibuca points out, people would take risks with their lives much more lightly, execution would no longer be the ultimate punishment, and doctors might sometimes find it easier to let their patients die and then resurrect them, rather than deal with the mess of curing their sicknesses.

Roleplayers have to be somewhat careful not to let impermanent death and other such necessities of computer gaming become realities from their characters' point of view. After all, if the rules of Azerothian reality were the same as the rules we have in the game -- where death never lasts and good gear is the ultimate goal -- then there is really nothing of importance at stake for any of the characters in the Warcraft stories, least of all yours. That kind of world would effectively be just a game, whether it was real for its inhabitants or not.

Can you imagine how real life would be different if death were impermanent like it is in the game? Would such game-world realities enhance our own real world, or reduce it to trivial meaninglessness?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Lore, RP

Considering a real simulated reality

Those of you who are regular readers might have figured out by now that I'm very interested in the relationship between the real and the virtual world, but the latest post at Terra Nova goes far beyond any simple reasoning I've ever done. Basically, they sum up some speculation being performed by academics that says that just like we Earthlings have created our own virtual worlds (in Azeroth and elsewhere), it's somewhat, maybe possible that we ourselves actually live in someone else's virtual world.

Wow. To me, that's so far off the beaten path that who knows where to begin with it-- you've got religion in there somewhere, as well as the old question of our existence itself. But supposing that were true (and it's almost too big a jump for even me to make, except for the fact that even if it is true, we'll likely never know it), what would you do if you were living in a virtual world? Would you act differently? Would you be a griefer? Or would you play the game, play by the rules, and help yourself and others not only "win," but have fun too? It seems a little loony (because who wants to admit that their world is someone else's toy?), but it's a fascinating thought experiment that should help you examine both how you're living your life and how you want to live it-- what would you do if you were an NPC in a virtual world?

Of course, things get even stranger, because we don't just create virtual worlds-- we play in them. Azeroth isn't just full of NPCs-- it's full of us, walking around, killing things, and generally taking (and taking over) whatever we want. If our world really is someone else's, does that mean they're here too?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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