Monthly Archive: July 2007

What?? Not a Blood Elf?


I’ve started leveling a warrior. I’m sick and tired of always looking for a tank, so I’ll just be one! You can’t be a Blood Elf warrior – unfortunately, so I’m trying something radical – I’m playing an Orc!! Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to make a female orc look attractive. But my tank doesn’t realize that — she likes to stay in touch with her feminine side – hence the pig tails. It’s incredible how few female orcs there are around actually … I’m one of the few I’ve seen. I think the female orc is vastly underrated, especially now that I’ve seen their dance (snapshot in the pic). I wish World of Warcraft Census would not only list class/race statistics but gender as well. Would be interesting …

Since she’s only in her 20’s level wise her gear isn’t that brilliant yet, but I did make her this amazing silver breastplate. Hopefully no one will decide to stab me in the belly, since it doesn’t cover my mid-riff.

Anyway, she’s a lot of fun … the mage, priest, and rogue might have to be on the back-burner for a while.

On the not-so-light side


A not-so-light topic has been on my mind recently. Two death-penalty cases around the world have been in the news recently. The first is the case of Mr Zheng, the Chinese drug administration official who was executed earlier this month for taking bribes – contributing to the lack of safety in Chinese products.
Once again, the media’s coverage of this case has amazed me. The media’s focus, at least here in Australia, and from what I can tell, elsewhere as well, has been on the fact that the drug administration in China is corrupt, and that as a result, several Chinese products are considered unsafe. Not one journalist I have heard (please let me know if you find one) has commented on the fact that a high ranking official in China was EXECUTED for taking BRIBES. The barbarous attitude of the country that we are all flocking to eagerly next year for the Beijing Olympics has not been mentioned once. To me, that is the most significant part of the case: taking bribes warrants the death penalty in this country. Surely this is something we would at least want to comment upon?
The other death penalty case that has been on my mind has occurred in Saudi Arabia. It is by no means the only death penalty case there, but this one involves a young (17-year old) Sri Lankan maid who may well be decapitated for allegedly strangling her infant charge. She has at this stage been tried, found guilty, and currently sits on death row.
There are two things that astonish me about this case – one is the lack of media attention it is receiving. I found the article far down on the front page of The Times website. Cynics will probably ask me why I’m surprised: the West does not want to antagonize a country such as Saudi when it controls so much of the world’s oil supply. I’m not so sure that is the only reason. I wonder if we are just so tired of down-and-out stories that does not directly touch ‘one of our own’ that we just cannot be bothered worrying about her.
The second thing that strikes me about this case is how little the world knows about the trafficking in human persons that goes on in a region like the Middle East – and countless others for that matter. The United States Department of State’s Trafficking in Human Persons Report 2007 makes for some shocking and disturbing reading.
Anyway, I’m sorry to give you such a somber post in preparation for your weekend. I’m off to Azeroth to think about more pleasant things – like killing little gnomes. Maybe I’ll have something more fun to talk about after that!

The Other Side


It’s not only when playing World of Warcraft that we need to keep in mind that we really have no idea what’s on the ‘other side’ of the screen on the internet. I just think about it a lot when I play in groups – I’m well aware that one of the other team members could be some one like my almost-9-year old son. You really can’t tell that the orc tanking your party isn’t actually a big mean fighting machine.
At the same time of course, they have no idea who I am either. Which actually suits me just fine – it IS after all a role playing game, and I don’t necessarily want anyone to treat me like a 30-something year old mother. I prefer for people to think of me as the character that I’m playing.
It is important to keep in mind though that when the ‘other side’ is being unreasonable, stupid, or just plain annoying, you might be playing with my son, my father in law, or a Blizzard employee for that matter.
Likewise, parents should warn their teenagers posting happily away at Myspace, or on MSN messenger, that they really haven’t got a clue what the person on the other side is like. Many of you may have seen the following photo floating around in chain emails. My husband things every teenage daughter should see it as a warning … personally, I think it wouldn’t hurt for a bunch of 20-year olds looking for love on the internet to see it either. You just never know what’s on the other side!

Out Stealing Horses


A while ago, I said I wanted to read this amazing book. And I was FAR from disappointed … Per Petterson’s novel is truly amazing. I read it in the original Norwegian, but I have heard that Anne Born’s English translation is very worthy. The Independent certainly thought so, awarding it the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for 2006.
The novel is about finding yourself, understanding yourself, and accepting yourself. The story unfolds in Norway, along the border with Sweden, traveling smoothly back and forth in time between the 1940’s and late 1999. Nature has a strong presence, but it does not invade the story.
Mostly it’s Petterson’s economy of language that highlights the depth of feeling in the novel. When Trond moves in his twilight years to an isolated cottage along a river that he expects to make his final home, he runs into someone who evokes memories of his past.
I could not put it down, and it touched me deeply.

Domestic bliss



As those who play World of Warcraft know (I have several non-Wow readers, so bear with me), each race and sex has several jokes they can tell. One of the set jokes for a human female – pictured left – is ”Why does everyone assume that my professions are tailoring and cooking??”
And it’s a fair question. While almost no one inside WoW would assume that a female character inside the game would pick those professions because they are female, I bet they would think that if they were to choose their “RL”* (Real life for those of you just getting used to my blog) professions.
This is interesting in light of this recent study featured in The Times blog by Charles Bremner that mentions a sociological study in France. The study he mentions claims that women are content to keep a larger share of the household chores because it gives them a power over the domestic domain that they are reluctant to relinquish.
There are many very very interesting points to cover in the study, but I guess what I want to point out is this:

No one expects a female gamer to choose tailoring and cooking.

And while this is perhaps minor, I believe it is significant. There is nothing emasculating about a male warlock sewing a dress. And believe it or not, there was a huge outcry when blizzard wanted to provide epic tunics (really really uber uber cool stuff) instead of robes. The populace wanted robes (dresses – come on, let’s call a spade a spade).

A small victory??

And I can’t help but speculate what power cooking dinner every night gives me … something uber I’m sure.

Thistle Tea

I guess this is an old video – it’s actually the start to a much longer video called World of Roguecraft – but I particularly like this bit!

Thistle Tea is a drink you can make in World of Warcraft to increase your energy level if you are a rogue – like me 🙂

Transformers????

Normally, the prospect of taking my two pre-pubescent boys to the movies doesn’t fill me with joy. The type of movie that they get excited about isn’t exactly the same that I would choose for myself most of the time. Today, I got lucky! I wasn’t really looking forward to Transformers, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The film is one over the top thrill after the next. And when I say over the top, I mean over the top! But it works. The movie is so much fun, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Some of the lines are hilarious, and the action is pretty mind boggling, with sonic booms blasting the speakers constantly. John Turturro is absolutely gold as the secret government agency man and Shia Labeouf is fabulous as the reluctant teenage hero. And while the amount of cleavage and other sweaty skin Megan Fox parades around as Labeouf’s sidekick is enough to make any heterosexual female in the audience scowl in green rage, I’m sure the men in the audience aren’t complaining. And to be fair, there’s a fair bit of eye candy for the ladies there too. Go see it! Expect it to be over the top and enjoy the ride.

World of Warcraft is truly for everyone


I have the ultimate proof that WoW is for all shapes and sizes. I’ve never had trouble with my children being able to play World of Warcraft. They have grown up on PC’s, parents who play, and are now experts at the Wii Nunchuck (or whatever it’s called). But I now know that WoW is truly a game for anyone.

My father-in-law has been playing for years. He’s a man who used to (apparently) ride his horse through blizzards in New Zealand to get to school back when the world was a better place. But that doesn’t stop him. He has 5 or 6 level 50 characters. They are all a little lacking in the gear department (if you look at it from a serious player’s point of view). But he has fun.

And that’s all that matters, isn’t it?? If you are a WoW player, you might enjoy checking out his rogue’s intellect stats. They’re impressive!

Old Farts R Us is lucky to have him!

And it just proves my point, that WoW is a game that everyone can enjoy — I’m just worried I’ll end up telling him off in a group – not knowing who he is … which is why I’m glad he plays alliance!