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Posts with tag worldwide

The indomitable LFG chat channel

The first thing I thought when I saw the new LFG interface coming in patch 3.3 was what I said on last week's podcast: that's cool, but where's the LFG channel? If you remember way back during patch 2.0.1, when Blizzard originally released the LFG system, there was quite a clamor raised when they took away the LFG channel then, so much so that they eventually had to resurrect it. And so, when I saw in the latest patch notes that the LFG was set to return as a citywide channel, it didn't come as a surprise at all -- even in the new era of cross-realm LFG, there's still a place for just talking about which groups you can join.

But citywide still isn't enough for a lot of players -- some are saying that they want the channel to be worldwide. Ghostcrawler himself shows up in that thread and says a worldwide LFG channel would be nuts. And he's right: way back in the day when it was worldwide, it was "mass chaos," like a Barrens from everywhere. So why are people so tied to it? Blizzard seems to be missing a major way people used the LFG channel.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

WoW as a channel for news from Iran?

Normally, this wouldn't rate too high for us -- lots of people have ideas about how to use World of Warcraft, and many of them never actually come about. But then again, this is in the Wall Street Journal of all places, so we'll give it a look. If you're on Twitter, you've probably heard about what's going on in Iran right now -- there was an election, the "official" results given were judged as rigged by many involved, and the government seems to be cracking down on both news media and citizen journalism, as well as protesting citizens, to very sad results. How does World of Warcraft fit in to all of this? Andrew Lavallee of the WSJ's Digits blog points to this report by Craig Labovitz, which talks about how Internet traffic has been filtered out of the country around the election. At the very end of his analysis, Labovitz points out that channels for videogames, including both Xbox Live and World of Warcraft, have shown very little government manipulation. That suggests that if the government in Iran does continue to shut down certain channels, citizens there might be forced to spread the news through any virtual route they can, including possibly Azeroth.

This is obviously all just analysis and speculation so far -- while there clearly (from those charts) has been interference in the media, no one (as far as we know) has yet had to resort to chatting in World of Warcraft to get their message out, and though what's happening in Iran is made up of some very serious (and seriously unfortunate) situations, the fervor online about using brand new channels like Twitter to share real-time news is often overstated. Personally, I believe that even if Twitter didn't exist, this information would find another way to get out. Still, the interesting thing to take away here is that even our "silly" video games today are actually media on a global level.

Thanks, Cedars!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Virtual selves, News items

Where in the world is Image of Archmage Vargoth?


This might take a little bit of effort, but if you're as big an Archmage Vargoth fan as I am, you'll appreciate it. Groovy on the forums links to a Tripod page (sorry) with a blaring midi file (sorry again-- mute before clicking), that shows some low resolution screenshots of Archmage Vargoth everywhere in the world! I tried to mirror the .gif on our site here so you wouldn't have to brave your way through the midi, but unfortunately, animated .gifs don't play well with our system.

It amuses me, anyway-- when I first posted about Archmage Vargoth, I imagined exactly this happening. It's too bad it's such low quality-- hopefully someone out there will take the idea and run with it, so we can have a "where the hell is Matt," Archmage Vargoth style. And considering he emotes as well, maybe something even more complicated can be done with him.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Odds and ends, Humor

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