Dagdha's Blog

It’s coming…

Posted in Uncategorized by dagdha on October 17, 2011

Listen carefully and you might be able to hear the subtle ringing of metallic weapons and customized armor, the first drop in a developing maelstrom.  As I write this, orcs and night elves are undoubtedly donning war paint in eager anticipation of what is to come.  In less than 4 days, thousands will descend into a dark pit of nerdy chaos in enthusiastic, yet benevolent, veneration of their virtual creators and overlords.  An energetic mob of trolls, goblins, dwarves, wizards, demons, and geeky stereotypes, frenetically riled up by the charismatic Chris Metzen, will sonically shake the walls of the Anaheim Convention Center with a bone-chilling battle-cry.  That’s right, it’s Blizzcon.

Whether the RNG gods smile upon me, or I simply have magical mouse-clicking skills, I am extremely fortunate to be attending my fourth consecutive convention, an achievement that would make millions of die hard fans greener than a goblin trade prince with envy.  Buying tickets so far in advance, I almost always forget it’s coming. Then about a week before, I begin to feel the gradual building of pure excitement that can only be compared to what I felt as a sleepless kid on Christmas Eve.  Blizzcon has a similar magic and phantasmagorical wonder, complemented by life size-statues, elaborate art, and a shared sense of passion and camaraderie with everyone around you.  It is the embodiment of everything I love about video games.

Some of my fondest memories are a blur of countless hours playing World of Warcraft with my brothers, friends, and faceless strangers, cohabiting a rich fantasy world where we slaughtered dragons and saved lost kings from malevolent demons and angry gods.  I have joined guilds, made friends, created enemies, and often found solace in the serene beauty of Azeroth’s (and Outland’s) extreme landscapes.  Indeed at times I have become lost in the hypnotic spell of the experience trivially called a “game,” which does little to accurately encapsulate the complex living society functioning within Blizzard’s virtual construct, where the conscious separation of multiple identities begins to deteriorate, for better or worse.  I honestly do not think I will see another game in my lifetime that will have such a profound effect on me personally, which begs the question of what comes next.

Without video games, specifically those created by Blizzard, my life would probably be very different.  After working all summer at a print shop when I was 14, riding my bike 8 miles each way, I bought my first computer for the sole purpose of playing StarCraft.  This lead to experimenting with Linux, fixing/building computers, and eventually developing a career that coincidentally had me working for Blizzard at one point.  In some ways, I owe more to StarCraft than college for my current occupation.

As I grow older though, I find myself playing games less – a trend that started in college, before the release of WoW ushered in a new epoch of intense gaming.  After nearly seven years however, most of my friends and siblings have stopped playing, and the degenerating mass of crass, elitist players inhabiting Azeroth has alienated me away from the realm in which I used to find so much joy, and games in general seem to have lost their captivating luster.  Perhaps it is because nothing can quite compare to the first time I entered Darnassus and was met by a behemoth Ancient of War vigilantly guarding the entrance.

Regardless of my dwindling passion for video games, I’m still stoked for Blizzcon, if for no other reason than to see  concept art plastered across walls and screens throughout the convention hall. Of course, there are always the announcements, cosplayers, contests, demos, and SWAG to look forward to as well. I might not be considered a hardcore gamer, but I have a deep appreciation for Blizzard’s work, especially as someone who has seen its evolution over the years, firsthand. Overall, my sentiments can be summed up with the same fierce battle-cry that will echo through Anaheim this Friday:


FOR THE HORDE!

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