Best Friends, in Fantasy and Reality

Scott Tortorice

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I have to hand it to Seth Schiesel of the New Zork Times - he wrote a great piece about why gamers so love gaming:

Best Friends, in Fantasy and Reality


But the most important moment, the one that illuminated the passion that weaves Internet gamers into global communities that often make the leap from pixels to reality, did not come in the vast, thronged convention hall. It was not when Blizzard announced the next expansion for its signature product, World of Warcraft. It was not when thousands of spectators perched in rapt attention as the top two players of StarCraft II, Blizzard’s science-fiction strategy game, battled for $50,000 as winner of the convention tournament. And it was not the costume and dance contests hosted by the comedian Jay Mohr or the closing concert by the Foo Fighters.

Rather, the moment arrived after the official event had ended on Saturday night. In the atrium lobby of a hotel next door, at least 1,000 fans milled about in a scene that evoked the last night of camp, when no one wants to say goodbye and go home.

...

“People don’t realize that in many ways this event is as important for us, personally, as it is for the fans,” said Rob Pardo, Blizzard’s executive vice president for game design. “If we moved BlizzCon to Los Angeles or something, we could make it a lot bigger, but that would make it harder for Blizzard employees to come, and we want them to be able to experience the fans’ passion.”

In the hotel lobby Hubert Thieblot, founder and chief executive of Curse, a top gaming community company, surveyed the crowd of fans and developers. “For the hard-core people who play these games, it’s not just a game,” he said. “It’s a lifestyle. It’s part of who they are. This is a celebration of that.”
BTW: Here's a good behind the scenes vid from BlizzCon 2011:


[video=youtube;Kl1hxzzXVX0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl1hxzzXVX0[/video]


I've never been one for conventions, but I have to admit that I wouldn't mind going to a BlizzCon one day. Blizzard really pulls out all the stops for their fans.

BTW: Mark Levin went with his son again. You can hear his thoughts on the convention in the first few seconds of the show, here:

http://www.marklevinshow.com/sectional.asp?id=32930#

Click on the link for the 10/24 show.
 

kawaiku

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Looks awesome. I remember first hearing about these and thinking they were silly. But the fact that they do this for their fans is really amazing and how it keeps going year after year. I'm also all for promoting creativity and this is really cool to see. Do you know of any large Science Fiction and Fantasy-like conventions?
 

Scott Tortorice

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I do admire Blizzard for going to such extravagant lengths for their fans. A lot of companies have conventions for their fans, but they are really little more than ad hoc get-togethers. Only Blizzard (well, CCP too from what I have heard about EVE CON) spends serious cash and gets top name entertainment for their fans (this year the Foo Fighters headlined Blizzcon). That is pretty darn neat.

As for sci-fi / fantasy conventions, there are always a bunch going on here and there. I think the most prominent fantasy convention is World Fantasy Con. Not surprisingly, the best sci-fi con is the World Science Fiction Convention, where the Hugo awards are given. Never been to any of them, though.
 
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