World of Warcraft or The Power of Advertising!


Ahem, so….well…. this is not a ‘normal’ Kapow post by any means so bear with me…

Here’s the story:

At New Year while staying in Saltaire with our dear friends Kirsty and Joe I saw on television an advert for World of Warcraft starring Chuck Norris.  I didn’t understand it.

Firstly, I didn’t know who Chuck Norris was although I had heard the name on several occasions and guessed he was some sort of martial arts type guy.  He has a silly name (sorry Chuck) that sadly provoked stereotypical thoughts in my brain that he probably wasn’t that smart (I know, based on a NAME!?), was American and was not as cool as Van Damme or Seagal for instance (who I compare all men to of course).

Mr Kapow ended up staying on in Yorkshire for another week as he had return tickets the following weekend and it meant he could spend more time with Billy the Kid so I returned home alone and was at a loose end due to a few more days off work.

For some reason I kept thinking about Chuck Norris.

So I googled him and read on Wikipedia a load of stuff which failed to interest me but was pleased to see I was right about the martial arts stuff.  I followed a link to Chuck Norris Facts which I realised was why I mostly know who he is and that gave me a wee giggle but I was still feeling unfulfilled.

That’s when I realised that my curiosity was not with regard to Chuck at all, it was World of Warcraft!  I also suddenly had a flashback montage of other adverts I had seen starring William Shatner (one of my heroes), Verne Troyer and Ozzy Osbourne and Mr T, all people I obviously respect.  Konnie Kapow you see is something of a closet sci-fi fan and geekophile.

So obviously I now google WoW!  I know a little bit about it in so far as it is an internet game more than likely involving a war.  I know that people have avatars on it and have read in the papers etc about WoW weddings and such.  I start to read stuff about it and realise that it’s massive but I have a low attention span and there were too many words so I thought to myself, why not just try playing it, then you’ll know!

Here’s where we have a problem:  I’m not a gamer for a very good reason: I have a split ‘gaming’ personality.

One of me thinks it’s stupid.  It’s a waste of time, energy and money.  When all my friends were getting Mega Drives, Amstrads, Commodore 64s, Nintendo thingies and Master Systems my parents were dead against it and they were right.  We’re talking the 80s/early 90s here and even then the consoles and games were very expensive and my Dad especially felt very strongly that kids who were ‘plugged’ into computers instead of reading books and outside playing were going to be dulled. It wasn’t fair obviously but I got it, in fact, I never asked them to buy me one, I wouldn’t have because I knew what the answer would be.

We were allowed one and a half hours of television per day and were supposed to check the radio times or whatever paper we had in advance to plan what we wanted to watch.  Still to this day I am not comfortable having the television on when we have company or there is nothing on I specifically want to watch.  My father is 100 miles away but he still makes me feel guilty for watching tv.  I have never had a tv in my bedroom apart from when I only had a bedroom at Uni.  This is not a bad thing, he was right (even if it did mean I had to watch Pugwall’s Summer with the volume really low so he wouldn’t know!).

The other personality I own however is an addict.

In an act of sheer hypocrisy when I was about 17 and she 11, my parents let my youngest sister have a PS1.  The PS2 was out by then so she was still a complete throwback but I was utterly incredulous.  Aghast.

She never played it.  Never.  I was intrigued though and started messing around with the games that came with it (it was 2nd hand) which as far as I recal were Rayman, Driver, Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider.  My sister watched while I played, I think she was probably a bit young for the games and scared of them.  I became utterly addicted to Tomb Raider and Resident Evil to the extent where I stayed up till about 5am every night and made excuses not to go out and see friends.  My boyfriend ended up ‘watching’ me play instead of us going out.  It took over my life.  My life did not resume until i had completed every Tomb Raider / Resident Evil there was and I made a promise to myself never to speak of this and never to play a game again.

However, several years later I met ‘Steve’, he was a hot American guy I had a very tempestuous and mostly sexual relationship with.  ‘Steve’ had an XBox and he loved it.

‘Steve’ was born in Texas and I got on far better with his mother than I ever did with him.  I could write a whole post about him, but that’s for a more personal blog!  Suffice to say he was hot, very tall and strong and had a really sexy Southern accent. We had a lot of fun together but he was also a bit of a wanker.

Once he made me play Halo with him in the multi-player combat thingy.  I had no idea what the controls were or even the aim of the game and he wouldn’t tell me.  He just killed me over and over again, sometimes within seconds of my ‘coming back to life’, I wouldn’t even get a chance to move and he’d kill me.  He enjoyed this a bit too much.  Eventually I gathered enough ‘skill’ to run away from him but this was not my idea of fun.

I had told him about my affection for Resident Evil so for my birthday or something he got me Silent Hill for his XBox.  I was only allowed to play it when he was there though and he bought the strategy guide and a laser pointer and (I shit you not) I was only allowed to do what he told me to do.  We played in the dark (it’s a pretty scary game actually) and he used his flashlight to read the strategy guide and give me instructions and then used the laser pointer to show me where to go on the screen.  I tell you, the guy was a complete control freak.  Don’t get me started on him following me to the bathroom!

Anyway, I have digressed somewhat massively but never mind.  All of this combined means that it was with trepidation I downloaded WoW.  Had I not been alone for several days I would never have done it.  I wouldn’t have wanted anyone to know you see (she says on her public blog!).

So the first thing is I have to create a character.  I can choose between  Alliance and Horde who seem to be like goodies and baddies, and then choose a ‘race’.  I am vain and do not want an ugly character so go with the cuter in general Alliance.  I choose a Night Elf whatever that means and give her purple hair.  You have to then select what class you want to be.  I made mine a hunter because that meant I got to have a pet tiger.  Right.  What do I do now?

I have to give my character a name.  This has me scratching my head for some time… it has to be something cool right?  I should think of something that will make me fit in because I imagine everyone has really imaginative names.  I’m stumped though.

I have never been good at names:  my teddy was called Freddy, my Barbie was called Barbie and my imaginary horse was called Callypo because that’s what was written on the side of my horse, er, bike.  So Callypo it was.  I started to play and it took me hours to get to level 3 and work out how to use the controls especially as I was playing on a laptop with no mouse so was using the trackpad and key controls.  The first time though that I saw a ‘real’ person in there I was really excited.  I tried to talk to them but they just ignored me.

I got bored, I kept dying because I wasn’t quick enough with my trackpad and I must say I was very disappointed that no one was talking to me.  My pet tiger was also a bit too annoying for a noob like me, it kept running off and starting fights with things I couldn’t kill.  I decided to create another character.

This time I thought I might get to talk to someone if I didn’t look like such a nancy, you know, if I looked more like a serious gamer’s character so I went with the undead.  A zombie character in the Horde.  Again I had a serious problem with my name.  I tried to clear my mind of everything and use the first name which popped into my head which was………………………..Tamara………….wow, bit of an anti-climax there!  I stuck with it though for lack of anything better but had to make it less boring (I had by now seen some other people’s names and they all seemed pretty impressive.

Tamara Tambourine.

That, is the best I could do.  I’m a disgrace.

To my utter horror though I couldn’t fit it all in and by the time I was playing realised too late that my character was called Tamaratambour.  Och well, by accident it’s a bit better.  She was a hunter too, I liked the pet concept too much and this time I got a spider which I named Seth.  (Callypo’s tiger was called Cat)

I should have learned the first time though.  While I got better at fighting and completing tasks, still my pet was a pain in the arse and still no one would talk to me.

Time for a new tactic again, this time I need to be really hot!  I figured that in light of the avatar thingy notsohotandconfidentinreallife people were quite likely to be hot in WoW and therefore a little more talkative non?  I created a new character called Valpestra (named after a song by Sting called ‘Valparaiso’ – long story involving a drunken conversation with friends where I claimed Sting had ‘done tantric’ to me through the radio).

Valpestra is a Draenei (some sort of alien perhaps?) Mage so was the first character who did not have a pet.  Sure I was a bit lonely and I had no idea what a Mage was but I went with it.  It turned out though that she was a bit too sexy, everywhere I went I was plagued by Polish guys saying “Hey! You Sexy!”.  One guy saved my life by healing me during a fight with some beastie thing and then when I said thank you asked if I wanted to “do more than talk?”  What does that mean?  Did he want to pretend to have sex with me?  Who was he?  How old was he?  Was he even a he?  (that was a silly question actually, of course he was male!)

Valpestra’s life soon began to mirror my own (snigger) and she was plagued by suitors to the extent that I again decided I needed a change.  I’d go over to the Horde (or bad guys) which was a bit more fun so finally I created  Konniekapow and she was my favourite!  She’s a Blood Elf Paladin and I designed her to look a bit like Cher.  I got quite good as her albeit using the laptop but some tasks you need to be part of a group to complete and I had no idea how to go about this, again I felt a little bit lonely and excluded.  On my own though I got to level 20 which is the limit before you need to start paying.

This week I have been ill and spent most of my time in bed or on the couch so I have played my fair share of WoW and eventually it was time to create a new character again.  Just to see what was different, for the first time I created a male character.

He’s a troll warrior called Archiebaldie (thank you) and almost immediately I started getting challenged to fight by other players, something which never happened when I was a girl.

For the first time in the two weeks I have been playing WoW I got invited to join a group today and it is this experience I am really writing this blog in order to tell you about!

So I am standing in the middle of a town, a level 7 Warrior which is not very good and I am approached by 3 or 4 other (Swedish) characters who start talking to me and for some reason seem to find it hilarious that I ‘can’t talk’.  I am very confused by this because I am talking to them and they can see it but I’m guessing that they have the full version not just the free trial and that they can actually speak with their voices?  (?)

So here’s what happened:

1st guy – im lol
2nd guy – lol
3rd guy – lol
more people arrive and stand around laughing
me – hey guess what! I can’t speak!
2nd guy – fag
1st guy – lol
2nd guy – jokes
1st guy – lol
a message pops up to say that 1st guy has challenged me to a duel, he’s level 23 and I’m 7, they’re already laughing at me so I decline
me– now you want to beat me up too?
1st guy – com on do it
He cries on the other guy’s shoulder
2nd guy – he’s too scared
me – it’s for your own good, I’d kick your ass
1st guy – fag lol
2nd guy – lol
3rd guy – lol
me – I don’t know how to I’m a noob in case you hadn’t noticed
I get an invite to be in their group now which I assume is because I’m doing a great job of pretending to be a boy and bantering with them and accept
Then I get a bit confused because there’s a dog type thing next to me
me – who’s dog is this?
1st guy – lol
2nd guy (who’s turned into a dog type thing) – lol
they all start dancing now and laughing at me because I don’t know how to dance, I jump up and down instead and they laugh more and talk to each other in Swedish
1st guy (he’s the leader) – TO THE BASE COM ON!
2nd guy – ok
it’s just the 3 of us now
They then run off and I follow them to the top of a high tower where they are sitting on the floor and their characters have no clothes on.
2nd guy – falls asleep Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
me – what happened to your pants?
1st guy – im keepin my hood up lol
2nd guy – lol (then goes back to sleep)
(it then says 2nd guy seems a little tipsy from the Cup of FrogVenom Brew)
They start dancing again
me – so what is a group?
1st guy – (Google translated from Swedish) Anyone not dancing is gay
me – where are you from?
1st guy – I think Archiebaldie should get undressed cuz this place is a naked bar!
2nd guy – oh!
2nd guy – I’m sexy
1st guy – no ur not ur blue (his character is blue)
me – lil
      – oops, I meant lol
2nd guy – cries
1st guy – shit im so drunk.  gonna pok.
They then decide to get dressed and go back outside, I follow them but decide to finish my task instead.
A message pops up – You have been removed from the group.

5 thoughts on “World of Warcraft or The Power of Advertising!

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