The real genius of World of Warcraft and Ozzy Osbourne

The perhaps unintended consequence of the excellent Ozzy Osbourne World of Warcraft TV spot is that it takes the game beyond its traditional target.

I understand that World of Warcraft is some kind of video game that allows skinny boys to feel like they have untold powers of intimidation and survival.

And I am all for humans eking out their aggression without affecting others. Physically, at least.

But I have to say that the masterful World of Warcraft TV spot featuring Ozzy Osbourne might even make normal human beings warm to the idea of spending their whole lives in this videogaming Nether Region. (Except if you're under 18 and living in China, in which case I understand the Government only allows you three hours of Warcraft residence.)

Whoever it was who decided it might be a good idea to use Ozzy Osbourne to advertise this game deserves, oh, at least a mention in a Malcolm Gladwell book.

If you have not seen this spot, you have been deprived of essential cultural oxygen.

Ozzy screams that it is, indeed, he who has been the Prince of Darkness since 1979. Not some animated bearded chap who looks like a cross between the Almighty and Hugh Jackman's Grandad.

Ozzy then manages to, at least in some versions, utter the phrase "What's your (expletive that all of us use daily, if not hourly, but some cultures still find uncomfortable to look at when written down) game?!!"

This is all highly amusing in itself. Especially as Ozzy's diction has been deemed so uncertain that the spot has now been littered with subtitles.

But the sheer genius of this work of art lies in the fact that of all the people the Warcrafties could have chosen to be their spokesperson, they chose a 60-year-old whose hands shake more than a Yugo navigating a pothole.

Perhaps Ozzy is a secret lover of video games. Perhaps he privately spends his evenings trying to break par on PGA Tour 08.

But my bet is that if he ever found the patience to sit down and join the world of Orcs, Trolls and Dwarves, that patience would be almost immediately interrupted with screams for Sharon or some other deity to deliver him from this (expletive that all of us use daily, if not hourly, but some cultures still find uncomfortable to look at when written down) hell.

Yet none of this matters because the utterly inspirational casting of the man who brought us War Pigs opens World of Warcraft to even the most skeptical of beings. Which would be me and my three remaining sane friends.

I can only hope they will make a follow-up spot that would feature Ozzy actually trying to play. Now that might just be the ad of the decade.

 

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