Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Killing Those Who Admire You

Markco, you beautiful bastard you.

Faeghleis, a member of the Call To Auction Podcast crew (consider it required listening), is stepping away from the game until Cataclysm. However, since Fae is such a gentleman, he proposed a contest in which competitors would create a level one character, track him down in a cave located in the Dwarven starting area, and open a trade window with him. The first person to do this would receive TWENTY THOUSAND GOLD!

Simple, yes? Of course, there was one catch - Markco!

Now what happens when the shocking arrogance of a guild of Level One Alliance folk take on a humble yet throat-ripping PVP Monster, all in the name of TWENTY THOUSAND GOLD? Peep out the video and watch the fun.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blizzcon 2010 - Here We Go Again

The writing was on the wall back in February, and now it has been confirmed - so sayeth the official Blizzcon 2010 Website:

If you've been holding your breath waiting to find out when and where the next BlizzCon would be held, then... you've probably passed out by now. But if you've just been patiently watching for an announcement, then we've got good news for you: BlizzCon will be returning to the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, October 22 through Saturday, October 23! Just as in years past, BlizzCon 2010 will feature an exciting mix of discussion panels, tournaments, hands-on gameplay, contests, and much more. Check out the announcement press release, and keep an eye on www.blizzcon.com in the months ahead for further details, including ticketing information.

I was stoked about the possibility of attending last year, only to end up being denied. However, as Blizzcon '09 wrapped up, I started preparing to attend Blizzcon 2010.

I am excited. Nerds Unite!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Eyes Wide Open

Recent events have prompted me to share this story with you. There's a good lesson to be had, and one that many gamers need to be reminded of.

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning.

He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.

He collected $32.

When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

My additional thoughts would only be that so many people do things because they are "fashionable" that they forget to look at things with their own eyes, listen with their own ears, and appreciate anything with their own hearts.

Source: WashingtonPost.com

Be your own person, and take that person for a walk today. Spring is just around the corner. Step away from Raids and Dailies and take a look at the World around you. You could be overlooking something, or someone, very important.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Picking a Peck of Podcasts

I know I haven't written in awhile. I've been putting in some long hours an the True Grind that I call work. What can I say? I like getting paid.

I've also been a little slack in keeping up with the goings on in the WoW community. I have to deal with poor internet connection when I'm working out of town, and limited internet time when I do manage to squeeze in a few hours at the homestead. Trying to catch up via blogs is quite time-consuming (I like reading many blogs) and I generally try to avoid things like the World of Warcraft official forums because I value my time (and I don't speak "paint-sniffing hamster").

However, one of the perks of my job is that I have long commutes to and from work. Yes, for me that's a perk. No, I'm not well in the head. Moving on. This commute gives me the opportunity to listen to as many podcasts as I can. In fact, I often don't have enough time to listen to them all during my three-plus hours of travel time a day. What I'll end up doing is slapping the iPod buds in my hears while I'm killing time in the evening (shopping, cleaning, etc).

I admit that podcasts might not keep me on the cutting edge of gaming news. I might be a few days to a week behind, depending on when I download them from ITunes, but 99% of that news either doesn't affect me or doesn't concern me to the point where I feel the need to immediately address the issue.

Plus, there's times when I just want to be entertained. Just like WoW itself, with all its theorycrafting and min/maxing, the bottom line is having fun (and not Deeprun Tram fun like that one time with that drunk lady gnome with the sweet, cottn candy hair and full red li-)


Allow me to share with you a couple of my preferred listening podcasts:

- The Instance: About a year and a half ago, the evening before I was to go in for LASIK eye surgery, I searched iTunes for a World of Warcraft podcast. LASIK laser eye surgery would allow me to live without my glasses for the first time in decades. It meant I had to make the small sacrifice of spending twenty four hours in darkness to help the eyes recover from the procedure. I knew I wasn't going to be able to read, and playing WoW would be out of the question (twitch twitch). The next best thing would be to listen to people talk about WoW. Hence, my search for a podcast.

During my search, I came across The Instance. I listened to part of one of them, and immediately downloaded about the previous fifteen episodes. The next day, after lasers burned my eyes, I joined the gamer stereotype for one day only and crawled into the basement to get my (audio) WoW on.

About a hundred episodes later, I'm still a fan.

I joined their guild.

I'm still entertained by Scott and Randy. They give me the news, tips, and are a pleasure to listen to. They support the fans that support them with a guild, giveaways, and let's not forget the yearly Nerdtacular event.

- CASTaclysm: A recent addition to my playlist, CASTaclysm is a podcast hosted by Thunderer, Jhaman, and Markco With two arena competitors and a PVE dynamo, CASTaclysm covers a wide variety of topics including making gold via Markco's two copper, so to speak.

Two podcast from my playlist. Put them on yours.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

World of Wifecraft

It's only a matter of time, gentlemen.