Tuesday, September 14, 2010


OK, so I have recently discovered the "stats" feature of this blog, and it is super sweet.  Not only do I now have FOUR followers, but people in CHINA have viewed my blog!  I'm not sure if they are really reading it because I haven't had comments, but I am super excited about it.  In case you were wondering, none of my official followers is my mother!  However, they ARE all female.  Hm.

Maybe I need to jazz this thing up a bit for the guys.  I thought that the changes in my template and background to include some buffalo and bright explosions would draw in the Western/action crowd, but so far, not so much.

So... in order to cater to the potential male readers and/or followers out there, I will look to my closest male relative for assistance:  my brother, Michael.

He does not know that I am writing about him, although as soon as my mother reads this, I'm sure he will.  Rest assured, Mikey, I am not going to share one of your fine and shining moments of youth... right now.  Oh, just you wait.  I have two words for you:  Cotton Candy.  Hee hee...

Anyway, tonight I am going to tell you about something that my brother holds near and dear to his heart.  No, it is not his guitar or mandolin.  Nor is it his lovely girlfriend and her amazing dog, although he does indeed care greatly for all these things.  No, for this love we must look somewhere a little bit darker.  A little bit stranger.  A little bit nerdier.

If you met my brother for the first time, you would likely react as most people do and find him to be a very nice fellow.  He's rather tall, sometimes shaggy, but almost always good natured and extremely likable.  It is his good natured feature that assures me that I will not be severely punished for this entry I am writing.  :)

When young Mikey was a college student, he formed a strong bond with a small group of friends.  They're all pretty decent guys, and in the years since graduation, they've all enjoyed decent levels of success.  However, they all harbor a (sometimes) well-hidden secret.

Actually, I am pretty sure if you confronted most of these guys with the "secret" they would unashamedly own up to the truth.  However, it has been my experience that this association has always carried a bit of a stigma to it and I know for a fact that my brother has tried to keep his full interest in the "hobby" on the down-low from his lady love.

(Heidi, if you're reading this, now is the time to look away.)

In case you haven't already guessed it, my brother plays World of Warcraft.

If you have no idea what this means, good for you.  You are a normal person with normal hobbies likely do not spend much time at the computer (aside from the time you spend reading my blog).

For those of you who know EXACTLY what this means, welcome to the club.

In layman's terms, World of Warcraft (or WoW as it is sometimes known) is an online computer game that allows the user/player to create one or many characters (elves, dwarves, people, blood-elves, taurins, wizards, etc) that will live in the World (of Warcraft).  You can play with your friends and go on quests together.  You can meet new friends!  You can create outfits and buy accessories for your characters.

I am NOT going to go into any more detail about the game itself because it will just reveal that I know much more about it that I want to know.  I blame my brother for this entirely.  After staying with him for several stretches of time while he was in and just out of college, I was exposed to this fantasy freakiness far more than is healthy.  If you would like an excellent illustration of what this game looks like and what it can do to someone, I highly recommend the South Park episode, "Make Love, Not Warcraft."

I would like to take a brief moment to clarify that my brother is not one of the people who turns their life into the pursuit of WoW achievement.  He knows his limits (I think).  I know that he has even suspended his subscription for periods of time when he knows that he must focus on school or other real life endeavors.  BUT he still has active characters.

Anyway, although I have never nor do I ever have any intention of playing this game, I have had many hours of entertainment in mocking my brother while he plays, often at the expense of family time.  My parents are also frequent mockers as it annoys them that he pays money to play this game and that although he claims it is a social event (as he's online with his college buddies), he is not emotionally present for any conversation with people in the real world while he plays.

One of my favorite things to do is to narrate the story as he moves his main character, Chako, around the screen.  Sometimes Chako flies on dragons, but it's not as exciting as it sounds.  These dragons do not spit fire, nor to they do sweet turns and flips.  They pretty much just function as a flying bicycle.

Of all the weird things in the WoW, one of the best has to be the names given to the different towns and geographic locations.  In the game, they have names like "The Vale of Valor" and "The Road of Righteousness."  In my version, they have names like "The Ditch of Despair" and "The Swamp of Eternal Virginity."  My brother laughs at these names, but I suspect that he is actually quite irritated with me.

Well, it's getting late, and I need to get some sleep.  Hopefully my dreams will not be filled with dwarves chasing me with axes, but you never know.  If I didn't bore you all to tears with this entry or incite hatred in some true lovers of the game, I hope that at the very least I demonstrated that I can write something with interest to both genders.

If I did manage to seriously anger some WoW lovers, you should really stop and think for a minute.  By now you should have realized that many people in the real world are not going to understand your insatiable need to spend hours in an online alternate reality.  But do you really care?  As long as no one is threatening to take it away (like your mom, dad or spouse), you really should just be grateful for the fact that you a) can afford a computer with high speed internet, and b)have not developed carpal tunnel... yet.

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