Willow goes to Azeroth

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 Tolkien’s Middle Earth, changed a few names (high elves are night elves; hobbits are gnomes; trolls are troggs–the L’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 don’t even begin to care. The other day (day? night? In my delirium I can’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:

2 thoughts on “Willow goes to Azeroth”

  1. You and Willow haven’t even experienced a particle of the culture mash-up that is Outlands and Northrend….you can get a Reverend Mothers crysknife in Silithis or a gnomish matter disruptor in Area 52.
    There are tags from all the best scifi novels, movies, popculture cartoons and animes, mashed up with world mythos…..cthulu, valkyries and moljnir, and Adam Eterna of Masters of the Universe is a battlemaster in Shattrath, Snowcrash and Dune, Diamond Age and LoTR…
    I’m going to write a paper someday on the mytho-poesis of Warcraft.

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