Blizzard has announced the winners of their global writing contest, and posted the winner, along with short excerpts from the other finalists. As we’ve come to expect from Blizzard contests (and company retrospectives), the content is 75% Warcraft and 25% Starcraft, with no references (other than the page header image) to that other game franchise… Deeable? Drabolo? I forget. D-something, anyway.

    The winning entry is set in the Warcraft (World of?) universe, and like last year’s winner, it’s entirely “inside” the world fiction. Like I said (in comments) about last year’s winners, it’s impossible to evaluate the story if you’re not versed in the WoW fiction, since nothing is explained in the story. There are paladins and death knights and orcs, and some of them are arguing or fighting or scheming, but no one’s background is given, there’s no sense of which side anyone is on, no explanations or descriptions of ongoing world events, etc.

    As I said last year, it seems crazy to me that the “best” story out of the thousands they received is structured in a way that only people who know intimately the lore and plot of that particular game can appreciate it. Now that this has happened two years in a row, I’m not sure why I’m still surprised. Obviously the interns Blizzard forces to judge their contest entries disagree with my philosophical objection to the style of stories they’re giving prizes to. Either that or they’ve all been playing WoW since they were in high school, and can’t imagine a world in which other people do not…

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