Excellent article in the New York Times about Blizzcon, stressing the community aspect of things. Like-minded fans getting together, celebrating their shared love for Blizzard’s games, meeting online friends, etc. It’s quite heart-warming. A quote:
It wasn’t just the fans who were practically floating around the lobby. Here was Mike Morhaime, the company’s chief executive and co-founder, posing for pictures with a young woman dressed, a bit scantily, as a blood elf priest. Frank Pearce, another co-founder, plunged eagerly through the crowd. Other senior producers and designers wedged into the bar. This was not Broadway or Hollywood; there were no bodyguards or handlers hovering with clipboards and headsets. This was a party full of people who love video games and the friends they’ve made through them. It was difficult to tell which contingent was genuinely having a better time meeting the other: the executives or the fans.
…At least a few people out there still think of video games as inherently antisocial. Certainly, a single-player game doesn’t involve interacting with another person, though neither does reading a book. But the most powerful and important games are the persistent online dimensions like World of Warcraft and Eve Online. That is because they’re not really about the games; they are about the relationships players form within them.
So what really seemed to draw so many players to BlizzCon was not the chance to check out early versions of games in development, like Diablo III and the World of Warcraft expansion, to be called Mists of Pandaria. It was not the tournaments or the panel discussions. It was the chance to hang out with one another.
If you’re wondering at the competence and lack of “look at the weird video game people” tone of this article, note that it’s by article in the New York Times who has a long history writing about video games and interacting with Blizzard. He was the guest for an awesome interview/conversation on the NYT’s Seth Schiesel, recorded a few days after he’d returned from a visit to Blizzard and a private Diablo 3 playtest. If you didn’t listen to it at the time, it remains timely and well worth attending to.