WoW Gameplay Life: Where Were You, Ten Years Ago

It was a question posed by one of my roommates at the time — I had gotten into the World of Warcraft beta somewhere in the last month or so of testing through a friend. And I had no sooner installed and fired the game up than said roommate was out of his room like a shot and staring over my shoulder in absolute awe and disbelief. I didn’t understand why he was so excited until he pointed out that this was the MMO version of the RTS games I’d watched him play more than once on his computer. And as he excitedly babbled on about Lich Kings and Thralls and other words I didn’t really understand, I ran around the violet forests of Teldrassil on a night elf I made. I explored. I fell off the tree. I fell off the tree a lot.

Ten years ago, I was not, in fact, sitting in front of my computer firing up World of Warcraftfor the very first time. I was instead bemoaning the fact that beta was gone, and I didn’t quite have the funds to pick up the game immediately upon release. I was also reading a novel called Lord of the Clans, given to me by said roommate, who demanded that if I were not playing this game, I at least get myself familiar with the story because it was the most amazing, badass thing. My roommate wasn’t one for getting really excited about anything. This thing, however, had struck some kind of chord with him, resonated with him in a way that little else did. And as I read the story of Thrall’s escape from Durnholde Keep, I began to catch a glimmer of why it had.

I got World of Warcraft in the mail a little over a week later. Ten years is an inexplicably long time to play one game. But there is something about the characters, the story, and the game itself that continues to draw me in. Since that fateful day, I have quested and explored every inch of Azeroth and beyond. I have come to know the stories it holds, and treasure them just as much as my roommate did. I have morphed into that person that babbles excitedly about Lich Kings and Thralls and other words that I now not only totally get, I’ve written about in depth and detail, to share those stories with you. Because those stories are these really amazing, badass things, born from the passion of a group of dudes who set out to make one of the best games of all time, a game that has already gone down in history books and will no doubt continue to do so as long as the expansions continue to roll out.

Ten years ago, I had no idea what I was in for. But I don’t think I’d trade the last ten years for anything at all. Happy Birthday, World of Warcraft.

Where were you, ten years ago?