On the blurring of reality and play

Sex in world of Warcraft - screenshot by Jeremy Clarke

While we’re on the subject of the thinning effect social online games have on the line between reality and fiction I thought I’d share this, which I (I being the little gnome on the right) stumbled upon in the human land of Ellwin near the town of Goldshire.

Yes, those are two naked (in-game the underwear is as naked as it gets so it’s considered all-the-way) Night Elves and one naked human. Yes, the human is lying down with the elf sitting on top of him so it kind of looks like they’re having sex (no doubt it was a close enough resemblance for their purposes) and no, I’m not sure exactly what the third player is supposed to be doing.

While this doesn’t happen all the time in WoW, I think it happens enough that most people would be surprised. The lesson is that people will find ways to simulate sex in any and every virtual context you can throw at them, the only thing you can do is make them look dorky in the process by putting obstacles in their way.

(for proof of this, see Second Life where no burdens were placed on anything [the world is completely open to be designed by it’s users], and almost everything is somehow related to sex.)

On virtual worlds and continental errors.

problems with the continent of kalimdor message on the world of warcraft login screen

Tried to log into Warcraft today and this is the message that was waiting for me (along with the presence of the server I use on the referenced list). I love the way a comment like “visiting this continent may result in disconnection” is so obviously oxymoronic, and yet completely serious. Would you mess around in a world like that? Would you take the risk just to see what’s up with the Big-K?

A sampling of weird things that come to mind when I read this:

“But Kalimdor is my home!”

“Where will all the Horde go?”

“Did I log out when I was on Kalimdor?”

“Does the zeppellin still work?”

“Have I become a crazy person?”

Microsoft Ports for Mac still suck

Windows Media Player for Mac logoWindows Users: You can ignore this, you have bigger problems.

Mac Users: Microsoft has shown what an asshat it is yet again by finally giving up on even the premise of offering a decent video player for MacOSX. This would have happened a lot sooner, of course, had it not been for their stupid proprietary WMV video format that doesn’t work on anything but the Microsoft Media Player and which people, for some reason, continue to use. This halt in development is of course good news, as the Mac version of the Windows Media Player was almost as buggy as it was abhorently slow and unweildy, lacking anything even resembling a feature, let alone any effort at performance or efficiency.

The fun part is that, like with their Mac version of Internet Explorer (which they gave up on in the same way as soon as Apple released their Safari browser which was 10x better than IE), all it took for Microsoft to throw in the towel was for someone way smaller with less resources to rub a few brain cells together and make something better. In this case its the Flip4Mac plugin that just lets you play the WMV files in QuickTime, where they run smoothly and flawlessly like they should have in the Microsoft program. I 100% recommend this download as indispensible for Mac users who watch videos online, as well as for it’s metaphorical value in reinforcing why Microsoft shouldn’t be trusted to do things properly ever.

Linux Users: Keep up the good work, if Apple keeps jerking it’s customers around and upping the DRM I’ll be among you by the time I buy a new computer.

(Article about it. Thanks to OneGoodMove.org for the tip.)