It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
- Emily Dickinson
The question I postulate to you today is one that, assuming you're like me, makes you think. What if you heard tomorrow from a Blizzard employee that the World of Warcraft would be blown up in a spectacular in-game event, and subsequently shut down?
What if you knew that on November 10th, 2012 your WoW life would be over? Your guildmates, your countless hours of work on your characters, all your achievements, everything – gone. Into the nothingness that is the cyber void, never to be seen again.
The concept itself might seem a little odd; why get worked up over a game? While I wouldn't miss WoW itself very much, I would deeply miss the social connections and atmosphere that was developed through the game. I'd be completely content having my WoW friends with me for several decades in the future. But what if that couldn't be so?
China has faced such a possibility on their localized servers, and other MMOs have gone offline. Tabula Rasa and The Matrix Online are two such recent games to flip the off switch. And there is such a thing as going out on a high note – musicians, actors, businessmen, and politicians are all notorious for leaving their craft while they are at their prime.
Is it such a stretch that WoW might do the same? 11.5 million people could be involved in a singular event unlike no other entertainment medium has ever produced. The coverage and interest in how a virtual world that is the size of some countries ends would make Blizzard and its stockholders rich.
What would you do your last night? How would you feel? What would your WoW send off be?