Well, I'm back home from BlizzCon and am reunited with my family. I feel that aside from the WoW info I absorbed there, that I have also learned some valuable Real Life lessons -- and I hope that other attendees learned some, too.
Family First: Ok, I knew this one already, but BlizzCon reinforced it. Because I knew my daughter was well taken care of by her other parent, I was able to relax and enjoy myself. But also, Blizzard made their convention very family friendly. There was plenty to do for the whole family, including jousting. I saw babies strapped happily to parents and children enjoying a kind of Halloween in August, like this young Tauren pictured here. Unfortunately, my daughter is too old to be carried all day and too young to sit still for too long, but it is good to see that there will be plenty for her to do if we go as a family when she's older -- perhaps at BlizzCon 2010.
Have card, will travel: I don't have any business cards or moo cards or anything with my contact info on them and I regretted it several times. In hindsight, this is a no-brainer, but if any of you are going to PAX or any other convention this season, no matter how geeky and even if it is for pure recreation, get some cards made. Put your name and email address on it, if nothing else. You are bound to run into people you would like to stay in touch with (personally or professionally) and may not have the time to do anything else but hand over a card. Case in point, some of us at WoW Insider got to chat with Tommy Tallarico (so cool!) and I had absolutely nothing to hand him when he so graciously asked us for cards. Which leads me to...
Video Games are a multimedia art form: Well, I knew this already, even if some people don't. But the Video Games Live concert at BlizzCon really drove that point home. Watching a full orchestra with a druidic chorus, some Grammy Award winning veterans and David Arkenstone with his band perform WoW tavern music was at least as artistically fulfilling as watching concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.
Good Grooming is important: This is a lesson we all should already know, but people who are capable of taking care of themselves are still wandering out in public sharing their Gamer-Funk with the world. BlizzCon was definitely better than Comicon and old school E3 as far as body odor, but there were still issues. If you want to wear the same shirt for a few days and shower once a week when you are doing nothing but staying home and playing WoW, that's your business. But if you decide to mingle with other humans, even among fellow Blizzard fanboys, please shower every morning, wear clean clothes and apply deodorant. Please.
You can't learn manners when you spend all your time in your mom's basement: Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh, but I can't believe the behavior of some BlizzCon attendees who are old enough to know better. I would like to apologize to teenage boys everywhere for suspecting you to be the majority of people trolling forums and harassing general chat. The obnoxious, rude clods that were all too audible throughout the convention looked to be in their 20's or older. Now, I'm not talking about the majority of the extremely interactive panel attendees -- you guys were fun and necessary to the process. I'm talking to the people talking loudly (some on cellphones) so that others couldn't hear the panels... and to the people who reverted to Barrens Chat during Jay Mohr's monologue on closing night (he actually asked, "Why do people keep shouting Chuck Norris?")... and to the guy in Section 227 who was behind me and to my right, who heckled the improper pronunciation of Terran, among other loud, obnoxious, funsucking comments -- yeah, I'm talking to you. L2Behave.
I need a tattoo: Ok, the value of this life lesson is certainly arguable, but after sporting some temporary body art acquired for free at BlizzCon, I've decided that a dragon needs to reside on my chest more permanently.
Sleep is a weapon: Well, I originally learned that from some Robert Ludlum book, but it still applies. Three nights of "sleeping" in a poorly managed motel just underlines the point. Rest is important to keep you sharp whether you are attending conventions, healing the MT in a raid or writing for a blog. And I need some now.
Robin Torres juggles one level 70 Tauren Druid, multiple alts across multiple servers, two cats, one toddler, one loot-addicted husband and a yarn dependency. After years of attempting to balance MMOs with real life, Robin lightheartedly shares the wisdom gleaned from her experiences. If you would like to ask Robin's advice or if you have a story you wish to share, please email Robin.Torres AT weblogsinc DOT com for a possible future column.