Category Archive 'World of Warcraft'
10 Feb 2019
When Mats Steen, who had been living in a wheelchair in his parents’ basement for years, crippled by muscular dystrophy, died at 25, his parents suddenly heard from friends all over Europe who had grown close to Mats’ game persona in Warcraft. Denied pretty much entirely a life in the real world, the young man, in the last ten years of his life, had managed a pretty much full-time existence as Lord Ibelin Redmoore, a noted philanderer and detective in the planet of Azeroth, one home location in the enormously popular game World of Warcraft.
Robert delivered his funeral eulogy for Mats in late 2014, in a chapel at the Norwegian capital’s Western Cemetery.
Among those who sat listening to his words – in-between relatives and a few people from the health service who knew Mats well – was a group of people the family didn’t know.
Only Robert had met them. And only once, the evening before.
Mats had barely left the basement flat underneath his family’s home in the last years of his life, so it was strange that people unknown to the family were present at the funeral.
Even stranger – Mats himself had also never met these people.
Before his death, these grieving visitors would not have thought of Mats as Mats – but instead as Ibelin, a nobleman by birth, a philanderer and a detective. Some of those paying their respects lived close by, but others had come from afar. They wept for their good friend.
Later in the funeral service one of them would speak, and tell the gathering that just now, all across Europe, people were lighting candles for Mats. …
Robert and Trude had received the news in May 1993, in a small office in the large brick building that houses Ulleval Hospital.
Mats’s parents learned why their boy kept falling off the swings and hurting himself, why he didn’t climb up the ladder on the slide at the nursery, even though he loved to slide down, why he supported himself on his knees like an old man when he rose from a sitting position and why he didn’t race the other children.
The doctors told Robert and Trude that Mats had Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare disorder that causes muscle degeneration – mostly in boys. Mats’s genes contained a coding error that would prevent his muscles from developing normally. And which would finally destroy them.
“After we put Mats to bed that evening we called the doctor. We had been given permission to do that. We could call any time, if we needed more information,” says Robert.
With Trude sitting by his side, Robert spoke on the phone for more than half-an-hour.
“I said to the doctor: ‘But at least he won’t die from this!’ The doctor on the other end of the line was silent for a moment, ‘no, but our experience is that these patients rarely live to be older than 20’.”
“He managed to make it to 25.”
At the family home in Ostensjo in south-east Oslo, Robert and Trude tried to take it all in.
Mats would not live what they considered a “normal life”. He would die young and be taken away from them – without having set his mark on the world.
They were so completely mistaken.
05 Oct 2012
Detail of GOP attack mailer
The Politico reports that, in the State of Maine, one candidate’s World of Warcraft gaming hobby has become a campaign issue.
In an unusual press release issued Thursday, the Maine GOP attacked Lachowicz for a â€œbizarre double lifeâ€ in which sheâ€™s a devotee of the hugely popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft. In the game, sheâ€™s â€œSantiaga,â€ an “orc assassination rogue” with green skin, fangs, a Mohawk and pointy ears.
Lachowicz is a Democrat running against incumbent state Sen. Tom Martin in south-central Maine, a heavily Democratic district of about 80,000 people. Martin, elected in 2010, is the first Republican to hold the seat since the 1960s, and his seat is one Democrats are eager to flip back.
Lachowicz has blogged under her own name about her World of Warcraft achievements as well as left-wing politics in a dedicated section of the liberal DailyKos.Com. The Maine GOP excerpted several provocative lines form her posts including one on tax policy that concludes, â€œNow if youâ€™ll excuse me, I may have to go and hunt down Grover Norquist and drown him in my bathtub.â€
Other postings use curse words and make to the joy of â€œstab[bing] things,â€ joke about â€œbeing in a Socialist guildâ€ and admit to â€œseriously slacking off at work.â€
Actually, I think the Maine Republican Party has a point there.
I don’t personally see anything wrong with on-line fantasy gaming, but residents of that senatorial district ought to ask themselves: Do I want for my state senator the kind of person who chooses the identity of an Orc? Orcs are green-colored, unintelligent, primitives affiliated with the Horde, “a ravenous war machine fueled by demonic energy,” which is to say, the really, really bad guys.
Professionally, Ms. Lachowicz has chosen to have her avatar pursue the career of an assassination rogue.
WoW decribes the rogue class thusly:
For rogues, the only code is the contract, and their honor is purchased in gold. Free from the constraints of a conscience, these mercenaries rely on brutal and efficient tactics. Lethal assassins and masters of stealth, they will approach their marks from behind, piercing a vital organ and vanishing into the shadows before the victim hits the ground.
So, voters also need to ask themselves, is the kind of person who chooses for her avatar the conspicuously unethical class of rogue likely to be the kind of person we want making fiscal decisions for our state?
On the whole, I think one wants to be voting into public offices of trust and responsibility the kind of people who, when they play Warcraft, make their avatars humans, elves, or pandarens (Yoda types), and who adopt good guy professions like Paladin or Priest, or at least neutral professions like Hunter or Warlock.
Run around electing the kind of person whose avatar is a Level 68 Orc Assassination Rogue and you are going to be getting the likes of Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi.
07 Nov 2009
The most epic World of Warcraft duel is not going to be fought inside the game, reports the New York Times. Nor will broadswords, enchanted armor, and magic spells be producing the decision. DPS will be inflicted by interagency memoranda, and the Communist Party rather than the program algorithm will select the winner.
My guess is the Ministry of Culture is going to pwn those N00bs from the Administration of Press and Publication.
It could almost be a World of Warcraft game session â€” two competing titans, plotting against each other, swapping blows, embarked on a quest for a single prize that only the stronger of them will claim.
The virtual World of Warfare game is the subject of a regulatory dispute in China, where such games are big business.
But this is not virtual reality. The titans are two agencies of the Chinese government. And their quest, during which they have traded a few blows in the past week, is for a potentially rich prize: the power to regulate the real World of Warcraft, among the most popular online games in China.
The background: On Monday, the Chinese General Administration of Press and Publication ordered the Shanghai-based operator of World of Warcraft, NetEase, to shut down its servers for World of Warcraft. The agency said that it had rejected the companyâ€™s application to become the new host of the gameâ€™s four million Chinese players.
But by Wednesday, the Ministry of Culture had struck back.
â€œIn regards to the World of Warcraft incident, the General Administration of Press and Publication has clearly overstepped its authority,â€ a ministry official, Li Xiong, was quoted as saying in the Economic Information Daily, a newspaper in Beijing. â€œThey do not have the authority to penalize online gaming.â€
The ministry said it had that authority. And it said NetEase was perfectly free to offer the game on computers in China. The matter now appears destined for settlement by the State Council, the Chinese governmentâ€™s cabinet.
Such bureaucratic hair-pulling might seem petty, were so much not at stake. Why the authority to regulate video games should trigger such a fracas is not altogether clear. But on its face, the defining aspect of the dispute involves money.
The online gaming industry in China is already huge, and growing fast. About 50 million people crowd the Internet cafes of China on a regular basis to play. Revenues in 2008 rose about 50 percent to at least $2.9 billion, according to Alicia Yap, a Hong Kong analyst for Citi Investment Research and Analysis. That is 10 times the revenue of just five years ago. IDC, a research company, has predicted that annual revenue will reach $6 billion by 2013.
In that context, the question of who decides what games go online â€” and how they decide â€” looms large.
12 Oct 2008
Gizmodo takes perhaps an overly censorious view of one man’s passion.
Personally, I think the Bradster’s setup is highly impressive, in its own peculiar way Homeric. It would be interesting to watch him multi-task.
World of Warcraft player/dorkmaster supreme Bradster has caved to his smack addiction-like dependence on WoW and created 36 separate accounts that he plays simultaneously on an epically ridiculous rig. He claims to spend over $5700 per year just on the game, and plans to pick up 36 copies of the new expansion pack Wrath of the Lich King when it’s released. …
Bradster’s setup features a whopping seven separate laptops, four desktops hidden away under the desk, and an array of screens that’s disorienting even in a static image. He might be the only person on earth who’s capable of using the 15-button mouse.
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