Free-Floating Hostility

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The World of Nerdcraft

Rich's comment on last night's discussion of fortitude reminded me of WarCraft. What's WarCraft? Now, to be honest, I'm not at all sure. All I really know is that it occupies enough of some of my friends' time that I'm amazed they still have girlfriends. And if you were wondering, none of my friends that are into warcraft are lesbians. I believe that when Scott renounced WarCraft, Jeff bought it for Ryan with the open purpose of addicting him to keep Jeff company.

Well, that's not exactly all I know. I know that warcraft is a game. I recently sat down with Rich and Jeff to discuss what the big whoop was over this thing, and they did their best to explain it to me. It is, they say, a role-playing game. You make up a unique character for yourself and it's yours for life. Or beyond, actually. Your character may die time and again in the act of battling other people's avatars, but his points remain to resurrect him. The above image is an example of one such character--she is a "Human Mage," and she is one of the classier images on display at the World of Warcraft Website (I was going to use the Dwarven Racial Shield wallpaper but it would have been insensitive). This is a site, by the way, which list two separate links in its sidebar for "In-Game Events" and "Real-Life Events."

But I'm getting ahead of myself: You start by paying money. In exchange for your real money, like Euros and American Dollars, you receive three months of playing time in which to make a lot of fake money. The gold coins you pick up in Craft Land or whatever it's called are highly coveted, as are the points you get for kicking ass; apparently if you do well you can sell your character to other nerds for more real money. Rich says there are third-world factories where the fruits of cheap video-game-playing labor are sold on the open market. But only a sicko or a mercenary would really sell his character, because after all that intimate role play, it would be like selling yourself.

What, I wanted to know, is the fake money good for? "Can you turn it into something useful?" I asked, "Like spa gift certificates? Or just lame things like, I dunno, dexterity?"

"It's fortitude," Jeff answered coldly, "Not dexterity." Posted by Picasa

3 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger SPG at February 16, 2006 10:25 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Sometimes, usually on the weekends, I get in moods where I really don't want to talk to anyone at all. I want to read my book for hours and hours, cozy in bed. A quick "how's it going" every half hour or so is all I need for companionship.

    And this is why I support WoW. WoW has seen me through at least 5 books!

  •   Posted by Blogger Jeff'y at February 16, 2006 10:36 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I started gearing up for writing an indignant comment after seeing the title of this post in my RSS reader, but the post wasn't anywhere near as inflammatory as I expected it to be. Bananaorc has most of her facts down, and I would look like much more of a dork that the post makes me out to be if I corrected the details she gets wrong.

    WoW, being a video game, has about as much purpose as any other video game out there. It's slightly more rewarding (read: addictive) because your character persists in between play sessions; instead of spending an hour Smashing with Scotter, only to turn off the Game Cube and not have it amount to anything, I can team up with Scotter over the Internet and play for an hour and have something to show for it (well, not really, but at least within the framework of the game).

    I know five people at work who play regularly, and it's my main interaction with Scotter. (Ryan played an different version of Warcraft, Warcraft III, which wasn't a MMORPG; Rich has stopped playing and spends his time with Madden on the XBox instead.) A meme hopping around the 'net recently is that WoW is the new golf, i.e. the new way for business-y folks to primarily socialize and talk a little business on the side. When I play WoW, I let my crossbow do the talking.

  •   Posted by Blogger Rich at February 17, 2006 6:05 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Correction. I would say that law school has taken the place of WoW more than Madden. I have a five day weekend. That means I have 120 hours to work on my paper! Sadly, it is not as rewarding as WoW.

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