If there's one thing that Blizzard does well, it's build anticipation for upcoming events. And, other than the release of upcoming expansions, nothing gets players going like BlizzCon itself. With it being six months away, it's certainly not too early to begin thinking about going, but that brings with it logistical and social considerations. I'll leave the logistics to someone in the hospitality or travel industry; however, for anyone who wants to make a killer impression on their fellow gamers, this column is for you.
Welcome to Buff(ing) for BlizzCon, a bi-weekly guide to getting in shape, brought to you by the fitness freaks at ShrinkGeek. To quote Hanz and Franz, "Vee ahr goink to pahmp joo ahp!"
Keen observers of this space may be saying to themselves, "Hey, wait a minute... that sounds a little familiar." You would be absolutely correct.
That said, (re-)introductions are probably in order.
Apparently, our standing around with giant punctuation marks over our heads flagged us as quest-giving NPCs to the folks here. (I told Mike we should have sprayed for those things.) In this case, it's a little more customized than simply tucking %class, %name, or %race flag into the quest's flavor text. Whether they're trying to uncover a hidden six-pack or looking to drop a fair bit of weight for health reasons, a bunch of the staffers here have put their butts on the line, literally. We're not going to gank anyone who doesn't complete the quests they've chosen for themselves, but they're the ones who will be in the screenshots event photos
The best road to success, no matter what the quest might be, is to have a specific goal, and a specific time frame. "Goals are dreams with a deadline," as the saying goes. The writers here have all put down what they hope to achieve. That's another big step. This is public accountability for anyone and everyone who wants it. Instead of killing ten rats, people are killing ten (or twenty, or more) pounds, looking to run five miles, or survive a zombie apocalypse. We don't begrudge anyone their ambitions, and, frankly, applaud everyone who is participating.
With this in mind, over the coming months, we will be helping them (and, hopefully, you) get a little closer to your fitness goals by the time BlizzCon arrives. That isn't to say that people's dedication is going to remain steadfast, or that a well-intentioned fitness regimen isn't going to be seriously challenged when a major patch comes out (never mind Cataclysm itself). We have some tricks up our sleeves, but when it comes right down to it, the only person who can get you in shape is you.
One thing everyone can do, right now (or at least by this weekend), is to take a "before" picture. This isn't for anyone's use but your own (but, when this is all over, before/after comparison shots, suitably anonymized, may really open some eyes). Anyone of the stat-fiend variety is welcome to track additional stuff -- body fat percentage, cholesterol, blood pressure, some particular weight lifting or cycling or jogging benchmark ... whatever. I have my own large and tedious spreadsheet, a spiral notebook, and a white board in my garage, so you're not alone in this.
We have conducted some behind-the-scenes interviews with the participating staffers, and it sounds like folks have all got a pretty good approach (at least, nobody is sending out the "Oh God, don't kill me!" vibe). We won't kid you - six months is a long grind, which is why breaking it up into a trio of two-month chunks will help folks along. So, with that in mind, everyone is encouraged to keep up with their current fitness routine (or, you know, start doing something), and circle June 22 on the calendar as the date to have lost a third of the weight they're trying to lose, or otherwise made a similar amount of progress towards their goal.
Do we really need to quote a certain muscular purple elf from The Burning Crusade trailer?