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Live performance in a virtual world

Mike Schramm

This piece on Terra Nova got the gears turning in my head again about something I've been thinking about for a while: a live dramatic performance in the virtual world. The article goes a little deeper than that-- basically, it suggests that we're all performers in the virtual world, and all the world (of Warcraft) is a stage for us to perform on. You may not be a roleplayer, but you still play a role in the game, whether it be the stalwart main tank or the ganking PvP moonkin.

But I'm talking about something a little more concrete: an actual dramatic production performed inside a virtual world. Unfortunately, my background in drama is tiny (I did some production stuff in high school and college), which is probably why I've never mustered up enough effort to pull it off, but others have, and I'd love to see more of it. The colorful, fantasy world of WoW seems perfect for putting on a production-- can you imagine Hamlet in the corridors of the Stormwind castle, or The Tempest down in the tropics in Stranglethorn Vale? It'd be a lot of work (not to mention a lot of typing) for all those involved, but a finished, complete production created entirely within the world of Azeroth would be incredible to watch.

There have been a few groups aiming for something like this (the Synthetic Worlds Initiative even planned an entire online world about Shakespeare, at one point, though I'm not sure what happened to it). And I can't believe this idea is original-- someone has to have performed something in WoW at some point, I'm sure; I just haven't heard of anyone really taking the time to do it professionally (and live). We're already playing our own made-up roles in the virtual world-- the idea of going one step further and recreating fictional characters in that world fascinates me.

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