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Posts with tag shakespeare

Breakfast Topic: Oh, Trade chat

Trade chat; that wretched hive of scum and villainy, that baying pack of horse thieves and reprobates, that hopelessly addictive ongoing chronicle of server zeitgeist. The stupidity that invariably infests the channel makes it tough to stomach at times, but there's no faster way to get something you need or catch up on the local gossip. I was introduced to WoW Bash the other day and spent an entertaining morning laughing at the various private and trade chat gems chronicled on the site (much of it, just as an FYI, is definitely not safe for work), many of which irresistibly reminded me of my own server's best offerings.

I can't help but remember a trade chat conversation that took place at some godawful hour in the morning on a Saturday between several overcaffeinated people, all of whom were playing a sort of "finish the story" game in which a plucky single mother attempted to finance her astrophysics and fishery mangement degree by participating in Ice Road Truckers. Tragedy (hilariously) ensued, but not before players managed to sneak in a Star Trek reference, an allusion to A Winter's Tale ("Exit, pursued by a bear"), and several threats to ignore or report each other. Do you have any particularly fond memories of trade chat, or do you avoid it like the plague?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Humor

All the World's a Stage: Center of the universe

All the World's a Stage returns today after a week off due to reasons beyond the comprehension of mortal man. Mysteries abound in World of Warcraft, and roleplayers are there to enjoy them.

In roleplaying, one's own character is never the center of the story -- this is true. But from another perspective, your character is always the center of the story -- and this is also true. It seems like a paradox, but it's actually a way of understanding your own relationship to the world.

In most stories, the main characters are usually the ones who have the most impact on the world around them: they are the heroes who save the day, fall in love, and make the choices that determine the ultimate outcome of the plot. In a way, the whole story circles around them, like planets around the sun. The structure of Warcraft lore is built with the stories of characters like this, whose choices made the World of Warcraft what it is today: Arthas, Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore and the like.

But the roleplaying community of imaginative characters is not such a centralized system. When immature roleplayers fail to understand this, they end up with a chaotic mess where everyone wants to steal the spotlight. But mature roleplaying environments are quite the opposite: they are cooperative rather than competitive, and quite unlike traditional storytelling patterns. Where traditional stories are like a solar system, with main characters around which all the other characters revolve, roleplaying in WoW it is like the expanding universe itself: a web of interconnected stories and characters in which the center appears to be nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

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

Some literary humor for your Saturday in Warcraft

Here's two bits of literary fun for your Saturday afternoon.

First, earlier this week, I saw this nice little piece of fan fiction over on WoW Livejournal. I'm not usually a fan of fan fiction, but this one just explains so much. And I really do hate those things, too.

And then yesterday, swampers put together this terrific little Shakespearean parody in the World of Warcraft style. "To quit, perchance to /afk" -- that's great. "Out out, brief arena match -- life's but a walking Shadow Priest, a poor player, who struts and QQs while the tank goes down, and then runs OOM."

Great stuff. Literary humor is always fun, and mixing it in with WoW makes it even better. Laugh and enjoy.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, Lore, Fan art

All the World's a Stage: And all the orcs and humans merely players

All the World's a Stage is a new weekly column by David Bowers, investigating the explorative performance art of roleplaying in the World of Warcraft.

As you know, WoW is a work of art, and roleplaying is probably the most creative aspect of the WoW experience. There are many reasons why people roleplay, and also many challenges to roleplayers, not the least of which is fitting in with all the other players who may not get why in the world you spend your time this way.

To put it most simply, as roleplayers, we view our WoW experience as a creative one. We want to make each other laugh and smile and share stories about our characters. By doing this, we not only have a good time, we get that sense of inspired expression that any artist loves, whether a comics illustrator or a knitting addict. Roleplayers aren't so different from other players -- we want to do quests, dungeons, raids, and fight other players just like everyone else, but we want to do it all in a creative, story-based way.

As Shakespeare has so famously put it,
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,

Read more →

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

Live performance in a virtual world

This piece on Terra Nova got the gears turning in my head again about something I've been thinking about for a while: a live dramatic performance in the virtual world. The article goes a little deeper than that-- basically, it suggests that we're all performers in the virtual world, and all the world (of Warcraft) is a stage for us to perform on. You may not be a roleplayer, but you still play a role in the game, whether it be the stalwart main tank or the ganking PvP moonkin.

But I'm talking about something a little more concrete: an actual dramatic production performed inside a virtual world. Unfortunately, my background in drama is tiny (I did some production stuff in high school and college), which is probably why I've never mustered up enough effort to pull it off, but others have, and I'd love to see more of it. The colorful, fantasy world of WoW seems perfect for putting on a production-- can you imagine Hamlet in the corridors of the Stormwind castle, or The Tempest down in the tropics in Stranglethorn Vale? It'd be a lot of work (not to mention a lot of typing) for all those involved, but a finished, complete production created entirely within the world of Azeroth would be incredible to watch.

There have been a few groups aiming for something like this (the Synthetic Worlds Initiative even planned an entire online world about Shakespeare, at one point, though I'm not sure what happened to it). And I can't believe this idea is original-- someone has to have performed something in WoW at some point, I'm sure; I just haven't heard of anyone really taking the time to do it professionally (and live). We're already playing our own made-up roles in the virtual world-- the idea of going one step further and recreating fictional characters in that world fascinates me.

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

Othello - the World of Warcraft Way

OldeSchooleNews brings us this interesting example of fantasy worlds colliding - when they act out an abridged version of Shakespeare's Othello entirely in World of Warcraft.  While the voice-work is  a bit on the quiet side, the video is well put together.  While I've seen quite a few stories told within the framework of WoW machinima, this is the first classic re-set in Azeroth (at least to my knowledge). 

Filed under: Machinima, Fan stuff

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