In his post about the new game, Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow linked to games guru Greg Costikyan's own entry on WTF?!, which drew the parallels to the massively successful WoW and an image like the one above: "It's a World of Warcraft screenshot, right? Well, no--it's a screenshot from WTF?!, a Flash-based sidescroller parodying WoW. And it's note-perfect, too--every interface element and the backgrounds and characters look like they're ripped straight from Azeroth."
In WoW, Azeroth, of course, is the planet on which that game takes place. In WTF?!, the geography is known as Azimuth. Get it?
The scenario of the parody is as follows: "The time/space continuum of Azimuth has enfolded. A Rift Lord's unwittingly opened a portal from the earthly netherworld, and the place is crawling with infamous historical thinkers, like Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and Mary Daly, each of whom is trying to enlist your help in (the) effort to figure out (what) WTF Azimuth is all about."
Well, this looks like it could ensnare a lot of people, especially those who are fans of WoW but happen to have a little time to spend on something else, or those who snarl at giving WoW publisher Blizzard Entertainment $15 a month and would rather get the look and feel of that game for nothing.
For now, WTF?! is just a demo with limited play available, but it sounds like a full version could well be in the works.
So what does it all mean? It means there are some seriously funny people out there who love a good time, who are having a bit of a laugh at WoW's expense, and who have a really good eye for detail, as any WoW fan will agree.
On June 10, Geek Gestalt hits the highways for Road Trip 2008. I'll start in Orlando, Fla., and visit many of the South's most interesting destinations. Stay tuned, and be sure to keep up, both now and during the trip, with what I'm doing on Twitter.