Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is hysterical.

The world of World of Warcraft is rife with cultural references. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is lovingly ripped off with quests such as "It's only a flesh wound". You can get Blue Suede Shoes as a reward. If you are doing a quest chain where you have to kill monkeys for an item to drop, you'll often get an empty barrel or a hefty barrel, obvious references to Donkey Kong. I could list hundreds more, but you get the idea.

It's now the holiday season where people are wondering what to get that special someone. Over the past 2 years, Blizzard, the creators of WOW, have enlisted the aid of celebrities to plug WOW via TV commercials. The very first one to make a WOW commercial was Mr. T. I am not making that up. Blizzard's artists created an avatar for Mr. T, complete with mount.

At the time, once you created your character, you couldn't change anything about it. If you decided, at level 20, that you didn't like being a dwarf female, there wasn't anything you could do about it. You had to start a new character. There was no way to get the "night elf mohawk" that had been created for Mr. T's commercial.

Now, you can change hairstyles, genders, races (I could become night elf.), and even factions. I play Alliance. I could become Horde. Males of some races can get a mohawk, in various colors.

On Friday the 13th, this commercial was released. In the commercial, at the end, the announcer clearly says, "Get WOW and get your night elf mohawk grenade." What the...?

Monday, the Night Elf Mohawk was unleashed upon WOW. Above, you see what my character looks like having been "mohawked".

You go to a specific place and speak with the Mr. T character and he gives you the grenade you see to the left in one of my bags. Then, you run around the world tossing it at people to get the above result. The "head" lasts one hour. The grenade lasts one day. It has five charges and you can get another one when you use up those charges. You can only carry one at a time. Don't want to be "T'd"? There is a small icon at the upper right of your screen. Right click it and the head goes away.

This kind of silliness is one of the reasons I play this game. There is a teenager in my guild who thinks this is the stupidest idea ever. He was complaining left and right last night because he kept getting hit by a grenade. We had to remind him that participation is entirely voluntary and you can dismiss the head change at any time. This is purely for amusement, doesn't change any fighting you might do, other than reduce your party to fits of laughter, and is a direct cultural reference that almost everyone knows.

I like these kinds of things. When you get to my level, you can often run out of things to do, other than amass large quantities of fake gold. I can always keep myself amused but this is one thing that makes the game fun. I like the silly. "I pity the fool" that doesn't.
P.S. Dear Blizzard, I'll do almost anything to get a mount like Mr. T's. Love, Gimmlette.

Beverage: Assam tea


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