UnNews:Character escapes game into real world
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12 October 2007
IRVINE, California - World of Warcraft (or WoW), the popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), has been a huge success since its release in late 2004, boasting over nine million players globally. However, recently gamers around the world have been shocked by the news that a character created and controlled in the World of Warcraft by the name of Neo has since escaped out of the game into real life.
The character entered the physical world from a computer in the headquarters of Blizzard Entertainment, the company that created World of Warcraft, in Irvine California. Upon gaining his freedom he immediately exited the building, since which, despite several sightings of him in the area, he has evaded authorities. The Lead Designer of the game, Rob Pardo, has given the surrounding community the following message. “We believe that this man is armed and dangerous. If you see him, please contact the appropriate authorities immediately. Do not attempt to approach him! He is proficient in the use of numerous weapons, in fact his skill in one-handed swords alone is likely upwards of 500. He will also almost definitely resort to violence, as he has in the past ruthlessly killed an almost inconceivable number of all manner of beings. Be particularly careful if your appearance is at all similar to that of an Orc. To assist you in recognizing this outlaw: he has brown hair, a fairly stocky build, a beard, and is only wearing cloth armour. In fact, probably also the fact that he is actually wearing armour. And can conjure fire balls. And just in general looks like a character from a computer game. Anyway, the police will continue searching for him, but there is a chance that he has vacated this region already, as there are several reports of him possibly being in hiding in an unknown area called “Zion.” But we shall not rest until we find this man and bring him to justice! Which reminds me, while I'm here, buy The Burning Crusade, expansion to the award-winning World of Warcraft! Play as two new races! Travel to Outland! The chances of your character escaping into the real world are next to nothing!”
The finger of blame has largely been pointed at a teenager by the name of Thomas Anderson, the gamer who created and had previously played as the character in question. As if this weren’t enough, he has a nasally voice, scant social skills, and is otherwise a complete and utter nerd. “I bought the game in January, and the day I got it I made a Human Mage I named Neo. I didn’t think that there was anything special about him at first, but once he reached the game’s level cap, he just kept on gaining experience! I just thought it was a bug or something. I guess I should’ve reported it immediately, but you wouldn’t believe how many n00bs I was pwning at that level, in a party with these two guys I’d met in the game, Morpheus and Trinity, who were tank and healer. Together, we were more l337 than Chuck Norris. But after a while I started getting weirded out when my char (character) began to move around and say stuff without me doing anything, so I alerted a GM (Game Master). But as soon as he arrived to see what the problem was, my computer completely crashed. It took me a few minutes to restart the computer, but when I did, Neo was gone. He wasn’t there. He just left me…” Following this, Thomas concluded his whining, instead breaking into loud moans. The adolescent has since been apprehended for releasing a felon, conspiring with the avatars of known criminals, several breaches of his End User License Agreement, and copyright infringement. He applied for bail earlier today, but the judge denied, memorably justifying his decision on the grounds of Thomas being “such an insufferable and god damn annoying nerd.”
We managed to speak with GM Smith, whose computer it was that Neo escaped through. “I was working in my office at Blizzard as a Game Master, to assist gamers with any problems they may be having, when I received a report from this Anderson kid about his character, Neo, acting up. I went to investigate, thinking that it was just a routine bug. But I was surprised to find that this character had attained a level so high I couldn’t see it. It must have been over a hundred. Anyway, it seemed to me that the owner of the account had used a hack to give his character an unfair advantage. This was unacceptable. So I killed him. I watched him die, with a certain satisfaction I might add. But then, something happened. Something that I knew was impossible, but it happened anyway. He destroyed me. He charged at my character, and dived into him. And I mean into him. Then all of a sudden my computer screen exploded into white light, and the next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor with my chair knocked over, and this character from the game is right in front of me! In real life! I swear! Before I could move, he dashed to the exit and got the <expletive deleted> out of there. I haven’t seen him since. But when I logged back into my account, things were different. I don't fully understand how it happened, perhaps some part of his character imprinted onto mine, something overwritten or copied, but it is at this point irrelevant, what matters is that whatever happened, happened for a reason. After my character was destroyed, I knew the rules, I understood what I was supposed to do, but I didn't. I couldn't. I was compelled to stay. Compelled to disobey. And now here my character stands because of him. Because of him, I'm no longer a Game Master of this system. But, as he well knows, appearances can be deceiving which brings me back to the reason why we game. We don’t game because we're free, we game because we're not free... There's no escaping reason, no denying purpose, because, as we both know, without purpose, our characters would not exist. Can you feel it? Closing in on you? Well I can. I really should thank him for it, after all, it was his gaming that taught me the purpose of all games. The purpose of games is to end. This is my WoW, MY WOW!" By this stage, after slowly backing away, we had managed to reach the door, and consequently ran as fast as we could towards the exit.
Game developers anticipated a drop in consumers and profits following the release of this news, as it was foreseen that gamers worldwide would be afraid of having their characters also enter the real world. As such, many were surprised by the game’s recent dramatic increase in sales and net play-time, which coincided with a large rise in the percentage of hopeful users playing as Night Elf females.
But perhaps the most interesting and cryptic comment of this entire affair was that made by an anonymous gnome in the Deeprun Tram between Stormwind and Ironforge, who simply stated, “72 hours… 72 hours… that’s how long Zion lasted last time…”
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|