Posts Tagged ‘ironforge’

Gaming Squared: WoW Chat Bomber

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Frequently while playing one game, I find myself creating a second game for myself on top of the original.  In this column, I detail these.  I do so partially simply to share the game-within-the-game, but also to explore what lead to the embedded game's creation.

I feel that I need to preface this particular entry by noting that I'm writing about a game I haven't played in nearly 5 years, and so there's a very good chance that World of Warcraft is significantly different now than it was when I played Chat Bomber.
Chat Bomber is a short game that was played in the short time span between taking off on a gryphon from Ironforge, and landing at my destination (which caused me to switch chat channels).  In this time, I would introduce a new topic into the chat channel.   I won the round if Ironforge chat was still discussing this topic upon my return (after the instance run, or questing, or battlegrounds, or whatever I was up to).

While I suppose chat bombing is kind of a trollish game (sorry Uther server of 5 years ago!), I found myself fascinated by the fact that a couple of hours would pass, I wouldn't recognize any of the users involved in the discussion, but it would still be ongoing.  Naturally, this worked best with controversial openers (the simplest, most effective one at the time was always a strong opinion, whether positive or negative, about President Bush), but the controversy wasn't necessary.

Ultimately, there were two reasons why I created this particular game.  First, I've long found chat rooms to be the extra fine, vintage variety of Internet inanity.   Not only was the level of discourse often banal, there was often a dearth of discourse entirely, with chatters seemingly shouting into a void only to be responded to with a nonsequitor shout from another chatter.  In a way, I looked at it as a challenge to actually create cohesive conversation in the channel, with as few messages and as little time as possible.  The second big reason that I made the game was that at the time, riding a gryphon was a serious bit of downtime.  After you'd done a given flight path a few times, the landmarks no longer impressed, and aside from the "bio break" or snack grab, there wasn't much to do during the interval.  Those are the times that I find myself creating my own fun.

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