Unfortunately I got stuck on the Earth for rather longer than I intended. I came for a week and was stranded for fifteen years. — Ford Prefect
These words of warning apply equally well to Azeroth as Earth, as does the Guide entry which read in full, “Mostly Harmless”. That mostly bit is key, as G Willow Wilson is discovering.
The thing that gets me is this: there is nothing original about this game. Somebody mixed a little steampunk into Tolkienâ€™s Middle Earth, changed a few names (high elves are night elves; hobbits are gnomes; trolls are troggs–the Lâ€™s replaced with a letter a mere 4 spaces away on the keyboard) and went to town. From a storytelling angle, everything about WoW is a rehash of something older and better.
But the sheer richness of the digital environment is so impressive that you donâ€™t even begin to care. The other day (day? night? In my delirium I canâ€™t remember) I was running along a frozen river in my little gnomish avatar when I heard the sound of bells. Around the bend came a blue-skinned elf. We stood there for a long moment, looking at each other, and then ran on, each bent on her own errand.
It was almost poetic.
Indeed, as was the occasions when I (or rather, my lvl 50 warrior toon) literally rode up on a white horse to save her little gnome mage from something or other. The sheer artisanship of the game makes even mundane encounters, epic in a way.
Meanwhile, on my flight back to Chicago from Abu Dhabi, I became acquainted with the TV show “How I Met Your Mother”. It’s amazing how WoW crops up in pop culture nowadays: