The community of World of Warcraft is an amazing, tightly knit and supportive bunch of gamers, that are always on hand to ease the transition from green gamer into invaluable guild member, even finding the time between dungeons to aid and reassure, players who have suffered from cataclysmic personal struggles.
And from this community comes many a heartwarming and hilarious tale, spreading from real life romances and marriages to the now legendary Leeroy Jenkins incident. But what of other wonderfully inspiring tales of Warcraftian joys and overcoming life's many obstacles? Here are a few wonderful tales from the World that is Warcraft...
Hans and the Malevolent Moose
A 12 year old Norwegian boy named Hans Jørgen Olsen and his sister were exploring a forest close to their home one day when they were suddenly attacked by a wild moose. The moose was set upon attacking Olsen's sister, until the little lad began to "taunt" the beast and draw its attention.
When the moose approached Olsen, he fell to ground and played dead - all skills he'd learned from his time playing Warcraft. The moose eventually went about its day and the two kids were safe to run back home, no doubt to regale their family about the awesomeness that had preceded their triumphant return.
The Blind Gamer and His "Guide Dog"
Ben Shaw, an ex-British Army soldier, was involved in an unfortunate roadside incident during his time serving in Basra, Iraq. An explosion resulted in Shaw having both of his eyes removed due to injuries from shrapnel. But Shaw didn't let the incident deter him from living life as fully as his limitations allowed. He learned to drive a sports car and how to boss WoW without his sight.
Shaw was initially guided through the game by a man named merely Owen. The Scotsman played Warcraft as an Orc called Davidian and acted as Shaw's in-game eyes...
...Using the follow function put into a macro he [Shaw] can tab through the group and target and follow me. Every encounter, Ben is using a series of macros to play his way through the game. Everything from boss fights to a simple repair goes through me."
Where other players who undertook the "guide dog" role found it taxing, Owen enjoyed it and the two began to bond...
Where people were seeing it as a challenge, I see it as a delight to have somebody as committed as Ben to raid beside. Ben and I clicked straight off the bat, and this made it simple to see Ben as a raider not a burden.
But after two and a half years of being a member of the guild Die Safe with Owen and seeing multiple guild members drop out, Shaw put out a forum request for a new guild to join, and was pleasantly surprised with the response he received...
You know, I thought that maybe there might be one or two guilds but the actual guilds I got that came back and responded asking me to join them was absolutely phenomenal. There was one guild, a 25-man guild ... which sit in the top 200 in the world. There was another, a 10-man; they sit in the top 500 10-man in the world. I was like, "Wow." There was at least 10 pages of people responding.
Azeroth and Alzheimer's
(via Victoria Sutherland)
Bill Craig is a Vietnam vet who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, who had played WoW for years before being diagnosed with the debilitating disease. Craig, who, despite the Alzheimer's, had twice cycled from Carrollton, Texas, to Carrollton, Georgia to raise awareness of an animal welfare charity, used to work as a respiratory therapist in his local Hospital.
He began to notice something was amiss with his memory after one shift at work...
It was part of my job to assist in CPR and put the patient on the ventilator if needed. One night, we had just revived someone and I got the vent, turned it on, and nothing happened. It didn't cycle and kept alarming. I could NOT figure out what was wrong, and then one of the nurses held up the power cord and asked me, "Does this look familiar to you, Bill?" It wasn't plugged in.
After retiring on disability, he took to WoW to aid his cognitive abilities, though sometimes he still finds difficulty remembering tasks...
With the Alzheimer's, I have good and bad days, and when they're bad, I notice it when my mind wanders and I get killed or when I sometimes forget where I am and what I'm supposed to be doing. At those times, I try to play one of the alts, do some easy dailies, or make sure there's plenty of health consumables in my bags. One of the reasons I enjoy the game so much is because I don't put any pressure on myself.
He formed a guild to assist new members in gaining gold and health consumables, but now his guild consists of him solely due to his inability to tackle dungeons - he forgets techniques and quests easily.
Ezra Chatterton and the Heroics of Blizzard
Ezra Chatterton was ten years old when the Make-A-Wish foundation helped him team up with Blizzard and learn a little of what happens behind the scenes at the game dev giant.
Chatterton's parents were divorced and he didn't get to spend much time with his father. But, via the magic of WoW, they bonded over the game and spent hours playing it together.
After being diagnosed with a debilitating brain tumor, Blizzard took Ezra out to their headquarters, where he spent time with Jeff Kaplan, a designer at Blizzard, creating a legendary bow (Merciless Gladiator's Crossbow of the Phoenix), a new quest and character (which was bumped up to level 70), added his dog to the game and even got to voice his character!
Sadly Ezra passed away with his dream of becoming a games designer still intact, but at least he had his moment behind the scenes with the guys who created his favorite game. The Elder in Thunder Bluff was renamed Ezra Wheathoof in honor of his passing.
Emotions Running High
If you're sick of playing console based FPS's, packed to the rafters with immodest gamers with mouths like salty sea-men, then perhaps this sprawling MMORPG is for you! With so many wonderful stories to indulge in, and of course some not too positive, I may have to dive in myself!