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Blizzcon 2010 let gamers try Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, giving them a sneak preview of the cause of their next failed relationships. Tenacious D performed with Dave Grohl, hot girls costumed and professional Starcraft players baffled the non-Koreans with the fact that they exist. However, the real entertainment was at the Q&A sessions.

Let me explain what a Q&A session is: nerds huddle in a line, forming Swine Flunor, waiting to ask one question to the game developers. Now, some of the worst qualities of nerds are entitlement, lack of social skills and narcissism. I left out beard termites because I didn't want to frighten you -- beard termites jump in your mouth when you scream. My point is, this whole event is crazy because these aren't even ordinary nerds. They're outer fringe supernerds. If you give them a microphone and a license to talk about paladins, it's as damn crazy as you'd expect. But as I watched the chaos unfold, a pattern emerged. I realized when I translated their questions from Warcraft into English that they were all asking minor variations on the same eight questions. Here they are:


Nerd rage is an impotent, cushion punching thing, and there are rare people who behave in person exactly how they behave in Warcraft -- barking clumsy insults, standing in something that's killing them and blaming Blizzard for everything. You see, for every minor change the developers make to a gameplay mechanic, there's a guy sitting at home who knows they did it to destroy him. BlizzCon is their chance for payback. They ask fussy, nitpicky questions as if they're issuing a mortal challenge. As you can imagine, it's as crowd-pleasing as leaping off your prayer mat and calling Allah a pussy. What's exciting for everybody is that there's a solid chance these people will have to be forcibly dragged from the microphone by security. And when you're arrested for disagreements over Warcraft, that has got to be Christmas for the other inmates.

Inmate #2014410: "What are you here for, fat boy?"

Cloudwhisper of Darrowmere: "I'll have you know that I! Am a political prisoner! Blizzard keeps nerfing hunters and I! Had the guts to stand up and say no more! No one wanted to listen, but I! Wouldn't be silenced!"

Inmate #2014410: "Wow. Well I have to say that takes a load off my mind. A lot of guys can be deceptively dangerous when you start raping them.

... so ...

you ready to go then?"

Cloudwhisper of Darrowmere: "/sigh."


Some nerds create a bubble of intellectual superiority by removing everything that isn't them from their sphere of influence. It's easy to be a genius when you've convinced yourself that everyone else is an idiot, including the people that make your favorite video game. After years of community scrutiny and employees dedicated to fine-tuning every little number, more math goes into punching fake monsters in Warcraft than went in to fake landing on the Moon.

Despite this, or maybe because of this, there are still nerds who are certain they've uncovered the Da Vinci Code of logic errors when they find a mistake, even if that "mistake" is a subjective disagreement. These are the kind of nerds that make you sympathize with high school bullies. When they die alone, they go to a hell where their mouth is taped shut for eternity next to people who keep saying that Carl Weathers was in Star Wars.


Despite the fact that I have email folders named "Murder Threats (Hilarious)" and "Murder Threats (Gulp)," I don't think all nerds are bitter, angry people. A lot of them truly love the magical land they live in and came here only to prematurely ejaculate in front of its gods. Since they know better than to just blurt that they named their cat after them and run -- they ask strange, forced questions to which they already know the answers. Now I know what my date goes through when I pretend to be interested in her haircut so I can undo her bra.

"Um yes, I notice the Death Knight rotation is now perfect. So my question is: Are you ready to move in with me? I've already programmed your thumbprints into our home's biometric locks and this tube of lubricant won't expire for, let me see ... negative 17 days!? Crap!"


During the BlizzCon dance contest, this guy got on stage and gently hopped so hard that he shattered his own leg. His brittle bones shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone. Without physical activity, the only way a human body can digest a Hot Pocket is by shedding layers of its own skeleton to battle it. Bones aren't the only thing that atrophy when you're in the World of Warcraft, though. You also lose your communication skills. For a lot of players, their only social interaction comes when they tell someone they spelled hommo wrong. Their brains have forgotten what's appropriate, and their mouths have forgotten how to talk. So their questions end up things like, "How do you physically disable your boners? They always happen when I'm afk plus my guild leader says I won't need them during the next arena season."


Getting a gigantic video game to work when 12 million people are playing it is hard. Blizzard doesn't always have time to redesign their database when players run out of storage space for their costumes or want a zone dedicated to birthday parties. But that doesn't stop people from asking about shit like that. They want Blizzard to give them faster ponies, luxury houses ... it makes you wonder how easy these people need their leisure time to be? Science has already invented drinkable yogurt.

I'm always amazed at how well the panelists handle these questions. Look at it like this: You're a creative and busy professional game developer. A smug kid wearing Burger King fluid is asking you to stop work on the project you've been on for two years and switch your focus to his idea of moose-shaped helmets. I've heard more appropriate questions from cock ring salesmen on Father's Day.


Every now and then, you see a wire get crossed in the human brain that turns all incoming and outgoing messages into Warcraft. Ringing phones, crying newborns -- they all sound like lootable Irradiated Troggs to them. These people aren't addicted to the game so much as spiritually merged with it. For example, witness the soon-to-be legendary Time-Lost Proto Nerd. I'm not completely fluent in Warcraft, but I think he wins an argument here with the game's writer about whether the character he writes is dead or not. And there's no malice in his heart when he does it. He simply needs to clear up this paradox before his universe collapses in on itself. And if that happens, who's going to feed the crying newborn he left back home. Oh my god, his son!


If you want to get, do or buy anything at a convention, you have to wait in line. Say that Booth 1000 has something scheduled at 3 P.M. No matter what you think it is, pretend it's a game show about grabbing the most money from a nude girl because the front of the line has been there since 7 A.M., so it must be. The problem is that across the hall, Booth 1200 is giving out a limited supply of stuffed goblins, and it's no stretch of the imagination to say that eBaying one for $40 would solve everything wrong in your life. Now, these two lines and many more have expanded to create an anxious and grumpy people maze. So we shouldn't be surprised that a few confused people seem to be in the question line by accident.

Also, fellows, speaking of lines, the one good thing about being surrounded by nerds is that if you're only going number one, you can skip right to the urinals while everyone sheepishly waits for a stall. I guess human bowels have no non-violent ways to react to a life of fish sticks and Starcraft. Now that I think about it, convention centers are used almost exclusively by nerds and politicians. These buildings shouldn't even have urinals. Have you ever seen a politician use a urinal? Of course not. Because he's inside the stall, inside a stranger. If you think the senators at the GOP convention are actually using the restrooms for resting, you're probably their wife and kids.


The fantasy world has activists too, and a lot of gamers go to these Q&A sessions with a political agenda. Why don't Death Knights recognize Veterans Day? When is Blizzard going to create a quest for asthma awareness? Why can't Night Elves gay marry? Is there even such a thing as a non-gay Night Elf? This year, one girl took the microphone and demanded to know why all the female characters in Warcraft are so fit and naked. And to give you an idea of how diverse Warcraft's political landscape can be, the girl immediately after the first used her question to ask if girl druids could get shapelier tits when they transform into owls. Man, one step forward two steps back; am I right, make-believe ladies?

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