'WoW' launch: Sleepy old grandpa geek comes out at night
Eric Franklin attends Blizzard's launch party for its much-anticipated second <i>WoW</i> expansion, <i>Wrath of the Lich King</i>, in San Francisco.
Eric FranklinFormer Editorial Director
Eric Franklin led the CNET Tech team as Editorial Director. A 20-plus-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, chauffeuring his kids around town, or absorbing every motivational book he can get his hands on.
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To paraphrase the immortal Sergeant Roger Murtaugh, I'm getting too old for this stuff.
I started noticing it last summer while standing in line for The Dark Knight's midnight showing. For one, I took note that a good 70 percent of the participants were in the 18-22 age bracket, which as a mid-30s guy standing in line at 11 p.m. on a weekday night tends to make me feel just a tad old. Especially when I start getting sleepy eyes while most around me are positively brimming with vim and vigor.
It was virtually no different a few hours ago at the San Francisco launch party for Blizzard's much-anticipated second expansion to World of Warcraft--Wrath of the Lich King. Even as I type this, I'm fighting sleep as it's way past ol' grandpa here's bedtime. I really don't have many midnight launches/premieres left in me. I'm thinking Watchmen and The Hobbit. Then I retire from these types of things.
It's funny. Years ago, I would have been mixing it up with more of my fellow geeks, talking about WoW to no end. Don't get me wrong, there was quite a bit of that going on, but once I actually got in line, I went into, "Don't talk to me, get out of my way, and just give me my friggin' game. No seriously, you need to get the hell out of my way and give me my game" mode.
OK, enough complaining. This event was basically like a miniature Blizzcon. There was face painting, a dance contest, a costume contest, and developers on their feet for hours on end being constantly interviewed.
Then there was the ridiculous three-block-long line. As you can see from some of the pics, there are some real hardcore fans who take the time they put into this game seriously. Most were there with friends, and for them WoW is basically a social network. A useful way to keep in touch while pwning nubs.
The most impressive thing of the night was a woman dressed as a Night Elf Druid. It wasn't her incredibly detailed and well-thought-out costume that impressed the most, but her admission that she'd once played WoW 28 hours straight. That beats my record by about eight hours.