We understand you've served as guild leader for your guild.
At one time, our guild was kind of crumbling, and I became the guild leader and resurrected it, got it back up. Then I relinquished guild leadership to someone else I felt was in a better position, because he was more of a raider and I was more of a PvP. I felt the guild was moving more toward the raiding progression and needed that kind of leadership, so I handed the torch off to somebody else. Now the guild is doing much better.
Sounds like people are a big part of your game experience.
This is what I really love about this game. There are times when you'll be playing PvP and you'll be fighting against a specific person, and you see them consistently. This was before they opened it up to different servers, so you would really see the same person a lot. And I was having this battle over and over again with this same person. We'd just find each other and go after each other.
And then after the game ended, I'd get a whisper. One time it (would be) complimentary, which was really nice. And then another person was like, "Well, why'd you da-da-da?" And I was like, "Well, because you da-da-da ..." And we totally started laughing and became friends, a mutual respect.
I never emote somebody unless they emote me. I hate emoting; I hate the LOLs or the gloats and stuff. Honestly, I think that's a negative part of the game. But when somebody does them to me, I get pissed, and I find them over and over and over and over (starts laughing), and kinda give them hell as much as I can. It's not often that people do that, but when they do, it really pisses me off.
That's what I love about PvP. It's organic. You're never quite sure what's going to happen or what relationships are going to build.
What else captures your interest?
The thing I think would be neat about PvP is if the terrain changed. I like how in arenas, the arenas change. It would be kind of neat if Warsong Gulch did that. I like the concept of capture the flag, because it's very direct and you know exactly what you have to do. If the terrain changed consistently, like if there were 10 different battlefields, that would be even more exciting. I would really enjoy that.
What about other games? Do you play anything else?
I don't have any time.
If you go back in my life, I didn't have any brothers or sisters. I was an only child. And I loved games. And I never had anybody to play with – ever. I had this game that I never learned how to play. It was called Magic Realm. And I used to carry this box around with me, with no one to play with.
Then I got really excited when I learned about the game Magic, and I was playing Magic all the time and collecting. I really enjoyed that game. I still had limited people to play with.
And I was a big Dragonlance fan. I met the writers at a convention, and they were fans of mine from Star Trek. I was sooo excited. They brought me out to GenCon and I was like, "Oh my gosh! This is so fun!" I was the big gamer who had never had anyone to play with, which was why I wanted to play an MMORPGs so bad, because then I would have tons of people to play with -- I would have the whole world to play with! But they never made MMORPGs for Macs, and I was like "Argh, damn them!"
Same thing happened when Wizards of the Coast made Magic the Gathering Online ...only for PC.
And the Star Trek Online game. I thought, "Oh cool, maybe they'll ask me to be a part of it! I would love to do it, because I love video games and MMORPGs." They made it for PCs -- and plus, nobody asked me to be a part of it -- so of course I don't play that game.
When I was growing up, my best friend, I remember when we first became friends. I brought all these games over to his house -- it was my first sleepover, I'm what, 15 or something -- and I was like, "Oh yeah, dude, I'll bring over all these games!" And he didn't tell me he hates games. So I went over there and he's like, "Meh, yeah, well," and I'm like, "Oh. You hate games. It's all right; we'll go do something else." It's like my whole life, I've struggled to play games.
So when MMORPGs started coming out, I was really excited about them. I mean, I played Intellivision, I had Atari, I've had all the Nintendos. I've always been a geek when it comes to video games.
Obviously Blizzard, in my opinion, has always made good games, high-quality games. I've always enjoyed them. So when WoW was coming out, I actually wanted to play it just because I was a fan of Blizzard and it was based on the Warcraft games.
Did being in Star Trek influence your attraction to the fantasy genre of games?
Star Trek was just because I'm an actor, and I had an audition and I got the role. I got the role mostly because I'm five feet tall, so obviously I'm quite small for a male, and they needed a person who would play a Ferengi. Ferengi are short creatures, for the most part, a short race -- and they needed someone who would play a kid but wouldn't grow to be six feet tall. So obviously they needed an adult who was short who could come off as a kid. That role was pretty much written for me, theoretically. And so I got it, and I was very, very fortunate.
We understand your kids both play WoW.
The fact that I got my boys into it is a good and a bad thing. It's fun to share it with them, but they hate parental controls. They hate it so much! (laughs) My older son ... I made a deal with him. I said, "If you go outside a couple of times a week, go out and play some basketball, I'll take off the parental controls as long as you don't take advantage of it and wake up at 2 in the morning while I'm asleep and start playing." So he's been much better about it. He has to pay for his account; when he turned 12, I said, "Well, you have to start paying for your account now."
We play at the same time, but we don't always play together. Sometimes we argue too much when we play; my older son and I argue too much. My younger son is easier; I don't argue with him as much. But my older son, he never wants to listen to me. We do better now; now we're OK. We'll run some battlegrounds. My older son loves to find all the glitches in the game; he'll spend hours just looking for glitches. We'll go into a battleground together, and I want to win and he'll be looking for glitches. I'm going, (yelling) "You gotta go for the flag carrier! What the hell you doin'?" It's good stuff (laughs) ... That's why we don't play together sometimes.
Anyone from the show who plays?
None. I don't know if any of them play. They were all older than me also, except for Cirroc Lofton, so I wouldn't expect anybody on there to play it. And knowing Cirroc, I don't think he would play, to be honest. I think I'm the biggest geek, I guess, if you want to call it by an endearing term.
It's so funny ... I'll go to a convention and I'll say, "My 'toon is Vasuna; look me up on Cenarius realm." I had somebody from one expo look me up the other day, and then they got off really quick. And they had some really weird name, and they said, "Remember me?" but they didn't tell me who they were. And that's where I feel bad, when I'm like "Ahhh ... I don't want you to feel bad, but I meet a lot of people." Sometimes I remember people; sometimes I don't. I don't mind if people wanna say hi.
That must be tough.
One of the things that I find really fascinating with World of Warcraft (and I'm sure this happens with all MMORPGs) is the social aspect of it and how people really change or really let out their id or their ego or their dark side, so to speak, because they're not seen, they're not known. The anonymity and how it affects behavior ...
I've seen this in your articles on your website, about how people wouldn't act like that in the real world, but they feel that they can now. How they call people retards or "you're an idiot" and "you're so stupid" and "your mama this" and "your mama that" and "you probably suck on this" and it's just like ... wow. It's fascinating, in a way, how it changes not only how people communicate with each other, how blatantly they'll tell somebody that they suck because they don't have as good of gear as the next person ... from an aspect of "I can go make someone's life miserable, and there's absolutely no consequence."
Kind of like playing with a bunch of little Ferengi ...
(laughs) Oh, well, we're not so bad. Actually, there was an interesting scene that Armin (Shimerman, who played Quark) had with Sisko, about putting down Ferengi. He said, "We're actually some of the best qualities of you, of capitalism, that you don't even want to look at." It gave a lot of insight into the Ferengi mentality and how that is translated, a piece of humanity that sometimes humanity needs but that they also kind of look down upon.
The whole wanting for money and stuff like that ... We're not all so bad. Look at Nog; he put that aside and went for his dreams rather than money.
Nog definitely grew up.
Another fascinating thing about video games now is that when I was young and when you were young, we were the only people who were playing video games. There were no adults playing video games at that time. ... Now, adults are going, "Aw, I'm playing with all these kids," or you've got a guild -- no kids allowed. ... We all started as kids! (laughs) Or the kids say, "Oh yeah, you're 40 years old playing a video game." You're like, "Well, yeah, what do you think you're going to be doing when you're 40? You're going to be playing a video game, because it's part of who you are now." The whole landscape has changed – and it's still changing.
Next week, join us for part two of our exclusive 15 Minutes with Aron Eisenberg, as we discuss what he's doing today and his thoughts on what's ahead in Cataclysm. Also, listen to this week's WoW Insider Show as Aron joins the WoW.com crew to chat more about WoW.
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- neither did we, until we talked with these players. From an Oscar-winning 3-D effects director to a rising pop singer ... from a quadriplegic player to a bunch of guys who get together for dinner and raiding in person every week.