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
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?"
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
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.
During the BlizzCon dance contest,
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 s**t 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 c**k 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
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
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
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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Science is fun.