I'm not stupid. I appreciate that that sentiment needs repeating sometimes, but I'm really not. If one of my video reviews overlooks something it's probably for comic effect. I feel I need to state this because if there's one thing my correspondents on the internet seem to love, it's being able to correct me on something, or tell me something they know about but I don't. This is probably because, in their mind, it puts them in a position of superiority over me, a very slightly famous person, which is a high of some kind at least.
Years ago now I made a joke at the end of my Zelda Phantom Hourglass review in which, requesting that Zelda try something different now and then, I made several suggestions that were blatantly describing the very Zelda-like Okami. This was a joke. Of course it was a joke, it was the end of the video and I always end on a joke. Of course, I knew about Okami. But to this day I still get the occasional email from smug people telling me about this really obscure game I've probably never heard of called Okami that by some strange coincidence has all the features I suggested at the end of the Phantom Hourglass review. I think it was a random NPC from No One Lives Forever who said, "If there's one thing worse than stupid people, it's smug stupid people."
I bring this up as a defensive measure against those who would tell me that the main reason why a lot of people play World of Warcraft is to socialize with their friends. Believe me, I know. I mentioned in the video that during my Christmas voyage through the wilderness I joined a guild, because it was a guild run by my housemates and which seems to contain half the people I know Eye Are Ell. And from an outsider's perspective World of Warcraft sometimes looks like it's being used more as a chat room where you can go beat up giant spiders together if you get bored.
You might think it odd that I, I who have dismissed multiplayer as a mere dalliance on the edge of gaming's true potential, would willingly play, not just a multiplayer game, but a Massively one at that. I could pretend I spent the whole time solo questing, watching parties and raiders attempt to organize themselves from a contemptful distance before donning some cool sunglasses and riding away on my goblin motorbike to spend the evening killing elite spider gods on my own. But that wouldn't be true. I actually did join a couple of parties to do a few dungeons. And incidentally, the new dungeon queueing system is marvellous for anyone who felt they hadn't queued enough just to get into the fucking server after 5pm on a weekday. Do you know, I timed how long it took between me inserting the installation CD and actually starting playing the game, and between patch installation and queueing it finally came down to around 56 hours. And people used to complain about waiting twenty minutes to play on the C64.
But I digress. I partied for dungeons and I liked it. Didn't join any raids, though. Once you go past 5 group members I can't imagine how you could retain any sense of identity. In a five man party I know who I am - I'm the mage, I'm going to be dropping meteor spells like candy when the lower level baddies swarm around. I'm contributing something important. But in a group of forty people, I bet it'd be easy to feel like a thirty-seventh wheel if there are twelve other mages around and one of them is the guildmaster's mum.