Thursday, February 21, 2013

All Around the World

Only available in the US..

Blizzcon this year will be in November, which is great news for fans of Warcraft across the world. However, getting there if you don't live in the US is likely to be expensive, especially in the current Economic climate, which is why there'll undoubtedly be access to live streams (with the inevitable Battle Pet carrot attached) in an attempt to assuage the fact that this event seems to have become a rather US-centric affair. Before people start poking me, I am not a fool. I am well aware why this is the case. It does not take a genius to work out that to run an event of this size is not cheap, and it is logistically a nightmare. Therefore, doing it in your back garden is always going to be easier than upping sticks and going somewhere else, especially when you have a guaranteed audience who are already scrabbling for hotel rooms without even knowing how much tickets will cost. The key with these things is consistency, after all.

For the record, the streams don't ever count as consolation. I've done a lot of cons in my time and absolutely nothing substitutes for the Real Thing. That's a simple truth, based on the fact that one person alone in front of a screen does not equate to 2000 screaming people in a hall. I'll also admit that every time I've bought a stream in the past it's just been for the pet and had nothing to do with the actual content. That's a bonus, it's meeting people that's the real reason you go to a Blizzcon. I am aware of people who've done the trip UK to US but as a mother of two for whom that weekend co-incides with term time... this is where my demographic becomes a distinct disadvantage. Not that I could even afford the air fare for four of us, let alone the hotel and ticket price. Even if I could, there's a responsibility to keep my children educated ahead of my desire to dress as a Dwarf, even though that particular idea is a very compelling one.

It also brings home to me the realisation that there is part of this gaming 'experience' that I may never get a chance to take part in, and that actually makes me sad. Even if Blizzard did decide to move the whole shebang to (let's say) Paris, it might yet be impossible to fit everything around the family commitments: however, I know that if there were even the smallest chance to do so I'd jump on it, as I'm sure thousands and thousands of other European Warcraft fans would. Blizzard will know this too, and maybe we can hope for another Warcraft-centric event on European soil this year that might give those of us who don't live in the US a chance to descend on. I know that Blizzard has a modest presence at a number of European gaming 'events' throughout the year but it does often feel as they are just to maintain appearances.

Needless to say, by the time I get to November I will undoubtedly be happy to watch as the various streams of static and moving  information come flowing out of the convention centre, perhaps with details on the new Blizzard MMO or on what might be in store for Warcraft after Pandaria. However, sitting here surrounded by tissues and cough remedies, watching my Twitter feed rave about and event that won't happen for eight months, you may have to forgive me for feeling as blue as the image I've used to head this post... :(


Andrew Sutherland said...

The Mists launch had a similicast. I wonder what the logistics would be to set up mini-cons at each regional base? Stream the feed from the main event into the main hall and stage rp/dance/cosplay competitions in the quiet periods when regional time is out of wack with the US.

Angelya said...

I'm with you here. The last Blizzcon just looked like sooo much fun, but with a young family it will be next to impossible to head off to the US to join in. I guess we'll just have to be content with watching the feeds :(