Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog
What is the worst thing a WoW-player can do that will prove them exceptionally no-life’ish according to the forum police? Yes, the title said it: Spending New Years in WoW… although I believe Christmas Eve probably ranks highly too. (Did I hear someone say WoW-stigma?)
Well, I did it! …almost, I logged out around 22:00 CET (which is also the EU time in game) so it was a close call.
Me and my boyfriend actually had a party to attend, but he had become ill the day before, and felt too unsettled to go that night. I think the fact he was going to meet a lot of the people I study with for the first time, made him even more insecure about going while not being well, and I understand that.
The consequence was that it put me in a dilemma – do I go? Or do I stay at home?
I chose the latter, as I would have been grateful if someone had kept me company, if the tables were turned.
I figured this could give me an opportunity to venture into online worlds to see how New Years looked on the virtual side. I planned to go to Second Life to see what they might have done, as they can create their own stuff, but then I remembered how Second Life is so international that New Years couldn’t be pinpointed as accurately as it can on my server, so I stayed at home both online and IRL.
Argent Dawn was relatively lively, as you can see below.
Horde is the crazy side of the coin, right? And they did indeed seem to have more of a party going on. Their auction house was also full, probably the goblin auctioneers being forever busy.
As you can see, I faffed around on Argent Dawn a bit, I didn’t have to stay at home on my own server though, I could have visited the parallel universe realm of the Sha’tar, where a whole New Years party was planned out:
They did it last year too:
In fact, if you’re interested in how their party played out, here’s a video from the 2010 Sha’tar New Years Bash:
Their party this year lasted from 21:00 till 3 at night hosting around 60-70 party people. They even had someone from the American servers who fired up their extra EU account, made a level 1 alt and ran most of the way to get to the location in Un’goro Crater!
The video below is another in game party from Stormwind. It shows how, despite no party being planned as meticulously as the Sha’tar Bash, players will still routinely celebrate New Years.
Every hour for perhaps six hours, automated fireworks will shoot up into the sky, which can also be seen in the video. This doesn’t only show that the video is authentic because it displays the technical New Years Eve in game, but also that Blizzard has created a game space where New Years is celebrated in a virtual state parallel to our real time events.
– Because online worlds are inhabitated even when you thought they would be deserted, people inhabit them even when cultural norms preaches to us where we should be and what we should be doing. Anyone can finish those two last statements: At a party – getting drunk. It’s the formula of New Years Eve, and mercy to the ones who don’t conform!
I still remember last year, I was following the wave of discussions, or should we say preachings, in the aftermath of the Sha’tar Bash. I remember it as close to an outroar, going from “LOL losers” to some commenters almost throwing a hint of blame at the organizers for giving the impression that celebrating New Years online was a good idea at all. As if the invitation should come with a disclaimer saying: “We all suck, and this party will suck, the experience can never (EVER) meassure up to anything IRL, even watching TV tonight is better and less pathetic“.
Actually the invitation this year did come with a disclaimer, not like the one I made up but instead, I believe, very much inspired by last year’s discussion:
“If you’re one of those people who think people don’t have a life if they have nothing better to do than play WoW on New years eve, then you’ve never had small children who are sleeping in bed, never had a broken foot which keeps you at home, never been 9 months pregnant, never been sick, never lived in a secluded area, never been babysitting, never been broke or never been utterly bored with the concept of going out partying amongst drunk and rowdy people in the freezing weather. :-)” (The Elders New Years Bash)
I hope it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, that not everyone spends New Years Eve the same way, nor do they want to. But yes, yes of course it did, last year it did, this year it did and next year it will.
I wrote earlier that I logged out around 22, but all we did after 22 till mightnight was to watch the TV shows, make drinks, eat toffee apples (don’t ask why..) and admire the fireworks outside. Spending it online with a portion of the WoW community could have been a decent alternative for us, a virtual extension of real life.
I would have preferred to spend my New Years Eve differently, but I also think I could’ve enjoyed an online party like the New Years Bash on The Sha’tar.
Would I ever consider celebrating a larger event like New Years Eve in real time in a virtual world under normal circumstances? – Probably not, but at the same time, I’m not out to shame flame the people who do, nor the ones who prefer not to celebrate it at all (online or not).
Each to their own, right!
Judging from the pictures, it looked like they had fun, which is indeed possible online – even on New Years Eve.