Day 25: Culture

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Kellaen visits the Burning Legion Museum in the Exodar. She didn’t see the sign that read “No Horses Allowed.”

The things I think about in between the realms of sleep and wake: I realized I had never seen a human in Azuremyst. Not once. Of course I know all races have visited Azuremyst, I mean afterall, I’m sure there’s some holiday thing, like the Noble Garden stuff, the forces players to visit. But otherwise, no. No one goes there but baby shamans and paladins, equipped with standard-issue horns and hooves.

When considering the topic of “culture” in Azeroth, it’s as endless and rich as any anthropologist’s dream. Every possible aspect that encompasses culture: food, language, clothing, holidays, traditions, expectations, restrictions: the details and study of the various cultural aspects reach near infinity, from the mugs of ale in a Dwarven inn, to the “Yo!” from Goblins. We players are comfortable in Azeroth because we can find connections and identify with so many of the same cultural motifs. I for one love going to the Darkmoon Faire and eating anything fried. If only they had corn-on-the-cob like I remember it from the Texas State Fairs. Virtual food as no calories, so that’s a bonus.

One place that is almost its own realm/separate game is Pandaria. I have often wondered if its Asian influences both delight and sometimes horrify Asian players. That generalization, too, is completely unfair. I spent a brief time with the NCTA, and one word we were never to utter was “exotic.” That word tends to underscore stereotypes of “other.” The discussion of culture is a complex one, that’s for sure. We all live in micro and macro cultures: how I clean house or what I make for dinner is influenced not only by my upbringing, but what is out there in my grocery stores.

Aside from Pandaria, all of Azeroth is a cultural smörgasbord, including Northrend with its DEHTA group and the gorloc Oracles. But even its scope is fairly limited between dead things, human things, and dwarf things of some variety. Oh, and proto-humans. Can’t forget those.

But–most of the Eastern Kingdoms is human dominated. I still think a 7′ tall hooven chick looks out of place in Stormwind, and for some reason, when I am in Kalimdor, no one looks out of place. The other great equalizer is the beginning quests in Acherus. All races are chained for the slaughter. Greeeaatt…..

So: take some time. Go visit a zone you haven’t yet. Stop and taste the local foods, see the sights, speak with the natives. There are no five-star inns in Azuremyst though; don’t want you to get too comfortable.

Day 24: In the background

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I did not intend for this series to be a pictorial of Kellaen, however, when one is starting fresh, there are some old things to see with new eyes.

James Clark.

James Clark is a petty thief and outlaw one must efficiently dispatch of.  And, separate him from his noggin. He wasn’t using it anyway.

But I swear, in all the moments Mr. Clark and I have had to do the “dance,” never once have I seen this creepy kid, Kevin, wondering around the room like a lost fly. He even tries to walk through the fireplace, up the table, on the mantle. There he is, in the shadows. 
Now, watching him wander around the tiny shack, all of these scenes from old Westerns kept playing in my head: “Son, I don’t wanna go shootin’ your pappy while you’re here…” Or that scene from Kill Bill where the Black Mamba gets rid of Vivica A. Fox’s character with a kindergartner in the house. That’s enough to send any kid to years of therapy. So, yes, Kellean stood there for a long time, watching Kevin, perplexed, and morally confused. But, whatever. Got the screenshot and that was that.