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BlizzCon 2010: The view from fourth grade


There sure are a lot of blood elf women at BlizzCon. Anywhere you look, it seems, you'll spot a pair of pointed ears knifing through the crowd, which inevitably widens as eager fans stop to focus their lenses on vast expanses of uncovered blood elf skin. The blood elf population, of course, isn't nearly as high as the veritable legions of black T-shirted men, nor the masses of brunettes sporting red or blue streaks. Those stylings have practically become an official entry badge for BlizzCon 2010.

What you won't find at BlizzCon, though, are kids. Blizzard has set a minimum age of 5 to attend the event, but most parents opt to leave even older kids at home. It's a pretty logical decision; $150 is a pretty steep price to pay for a child who doesn't have the patience for long programs, the endurance for long lines or the interest in ancillary things like hardware booths. Most of the few kids WoW Insider has spotted at the con have been traipsing dutifully along behind their parents, noses plastered to their Nintendo DSes or cell phone games. They're not the true WoW fans of the family -- and it shows.

Not young Ethan, who plays a just-under-level-cap death knight and is a fourth-grader from Torrance, California. Ethan's attending BlizzCon with his dad this year and loving every moment of it.

Ethan, who's been been playing WoW for three years now, doesn't mess around when it comes to World of WarCraft. "I experiment with tons of different characters," he says. "Usually, people who've played three years have a level 80. I don't feel it's as fun as playing with different characters."

That's not to say he follows the typical young player's pattern of low- to mid-level characters who spend as much time in town as they do in instances and log in most frequently in the company of Mom or Dad. Despite the pink plushie clutched in his hands, Ethan's a big fan of PvP and battlegrounds. "I like getting to high levels," Ethan admits. "I don't play with Dad much. I more just go around and do quests."

Ethan spent his day at BlizzCon playing the Cataclysm demo several times, enjoying the constant stream of cosplayers, watching some of the PvP tournament play and buying his new murloc plushie. The father-son pair, both long-time fans of the Warcraft and Diablo games, also enjoyed a thorough turn through the Diablo area in anticipation of playing Diablo 3.

Visit our galleries covering the opening line in pictures, costumes and characters and WoW Insider Reader Meetup here at BlizzCon 2010.

BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

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