My New Management Book: "WWMTSD?" ("What Would My Tauren Shaman Do?")

Amongst the Cheeto-stained sweat-panted ranks of hardcore MMORPG enthusiasts today, there is concern about the state of the economy and the job market. No, not the market for Greater Astral Essence at the Ironforge Auction House. The actual, meat-world economy. Specifically, can you be a hardcore MMORPG gamer, a reliable guildie, a go-to raid partner, and still get a job, pretending for the moment that you ever actually intended to in more than a theoretical sense?

A poorly-sourced rumor has some irrationally worried that the answer is no.

Forum poster Tale over on the f13 forums relates an experience with a recruiter in the online media industry, who reacted negatively to his conversational admission that he had spent too much time playing MMORPG games.

He replied that employers specifically instruct him not to send them World of Warcraft players. He said there is a belief that WoW players cannot give 100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc. I mentioned that some people have written about MMOG leadership experience as a career positive or a way to learn project management skills, and he shook his head. He has been specifically asked to avoid WoW players.

Anecdote aside, I doubt the employers and recruiters have put out the word "no Blood Elves need apply." Do hardcore MMORPG folks suffer from sleep deprivation, impaired judgment, and dramatically divided priorities? Yes. But so does a much larger group in the employee pool. We're called parents. And our seven-year-old woke us up before six practicing the piano in his underwear, and our two-year-old woke up supernaturally grouchy and kicked us in the nads while we were taking her out of the car at day care. Some dude who stayed up until three in the morning leveling his mage is still in better shape than us to greet the day.

The anecdote does, however, illuminate a job-hunting risk for MMORPGers. If one is so immersed in MMORP culture — and so divorced from the way the rest of us talk to each other — that one thinks that it's a good idea to talk enthusiastically during interviews about "what this computer game taught me about management," then one had better not be applying anywhere else other than a hardcore gaming company.

Hat tip.

It's not TV. It's favorite characters dying abruptly.

Big news for George R.R. Martin – Song of Ice and Fire – Game of Thrones fans, of which I am one. As we wrote about here, HBO has been toying with producing a series based on Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books, starting with A Game of Thrones. But it's all been hypothetical, possible, in-development stuff.

Until now. Martin now reports that HBO has given the order to film the pilot episode of A Game of Thrones.

This is tremendously cool for Martin fans like me. HBO is the one network that I'd trust to do the book some justice.

I think it's about time to warm up a new post about suggested casting and how the series will, by necessity, be different than the book. I expect a lot of fanboi rage about every deviation from the books — as if a TV series and a book were the same art form.

More on the story:

Topless Robot
Hollywood Reporter

Soar Above Sosaria

So Richard Garriot, aka Lord British, creator and developer of the seminal Ultima series of crpgs (developing vast gamer goodwill in Ultimas I through VII and squandering it in VIII and IX) is going into space. This time, he doesn't need to type a three digit coordinate to find Planet X. Instead, he'll use some of his gamer-garnered wealth to become the sixth private citizen in space. Iolo and Shamino don't get to come.

Follow the link for Tom Chick's excellent interview. I did not know that Garriot's father is an astronaut — that's cool.

Game Geeks: Misunderstood, Not Suitable For Normal Society

So a group of people in the office is talking about young kids and their hazards and trying to freak out the recently married people. We're talking about the sleeping habits of our kids. So I say:

Babies must sleep. Babies must rest. Wise is the one who does not waken them.

. . . and get a lot of blank, uncomfortable looks.

Please note I had the good judgment not to complete the quote.

Rainbows Make Me Angry! SOOO Angry!

Geeks — including gaming geeks in particular — are not any more or less dysfunctional, on average, than the general populace.

However, as with any group, there is a core subset of uber-geeks who take games very very seriously and get very upset about sequels to their cherished games — sequels which cannot possibly live up to the image of the game said geeks have constructed in their head. Hence when a company like Blizzard announces that it's producing Diablo III, latest in an insanely popular clickfest crpg-lite, many Diablo fans react roughly the way Al-Qaeda would if you published a cartoon in which Muhammad wins a hot dog eating contest.

Hence a furious and interminable argument about the art direction and visual style of the newest Diablo, culminating in a hilariously entitled and irritable online petition to Blizzard complaining that the new game will be just too fucking pretty.

It has a list of demands headed What we want. It also has a list of complaints:

Outside scenarios with vivid colors, beautiful forests with colorful vegetation, shinny and beautiful waterfalls where even rainbows take place.

Oh, won't someone think of the imps?

HBO Sucks

Via i09, I see that HBO has a new drama series in production: True Blood, about a world in which vampires are real and reveal themselves to society. It appears questionable, but given HBO's track record with drama series, I'm willing to give it a look.

The writers shrewdly realize that this sort of thing would generate vampire wannabees — or the Poseferatu, as I would call them. I suspect that the Poseferatu would outnumber real vampires by about 20 to 1. I mean there's no hint of real vampires now and we've already got scads of orally fixated goths schlepping about holding Anne Rice readings. Imagine what would happen if they got wind that the real thing is lurking about. At the very least, there would be an exponential increase in shitty poetry.

Update on HBO Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire Adaption

Via Prof. Bainbridge, I see that George R.R. Martin has posted an update on the development of the HBO adaption of the Song of Ice and Fire series, and specifically A Game of Thrones.

So far, the reports are good, and HBO seems to like what they're seeing… but no, there's no greenlight yet, A GAME OF THRONES remains a script in development, not a series in production.

The one hard bit of news is that HBO has reached agreement with the BBC for them to come in as a partner on the series… IF it goes ahead. That's very cool news, and I'm excited and pleased to have the BBC involved… but even so, we're still in the crossed fingers stage here, not the shooting-off-fireworks stage.

The BBC has done some of the greatest miniseries adaptations of books ever (I, Claudius being a notable example, the House of Cards trilogy is another), and I think it could make a fantastic partner for HBO. HBO, on the other hand, has made some real strides in series with complex characters and story arcs, and is comfortable with stories drenched with gore and sex, as SOIAF most certainly is. HBO is one of the few networks I could see running SOIAF without inserting Hollywood endings that would spoil the entire point of the series.

Sooner or later I'm going to have to do an epic "Cast the SOIAF series" post. Latest thought: James Caviezel as Ned.

No new updates on "A Dance With Dragons."