The MMORPG World of Warcraft is nearing its 10th anniversary and has recently been featured all over the news due the passing of comedian Robin Williams, an avid WoW-player. A fan-driven petition has made sure that the actor and comedian will be immortalized as an NPC (non-player character), much to the delight of the gaming community.
But Robin Williams was not the only celebrity to sport a World of Warcraft account. Mila Kunis, star of That 70s Show and the voice of Meg in Family Guy, has openly admitted that her WoW addiction became so bad that she had to quit playing the massive multiplayer game. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have played so much that they created an episode, ‘Make Love, Not Warcraft’, lampooning just how addictive the game can be. Rumours suggest even President Barrack Obama has ventured through the world of Azeroth during between his first presidential campaigns. Other celebrity World of Warcraft fans include Cameron Diaz, Ben Affleck, Jessica Simpson, Kanye West, Vin Diesel and even Hulk Hogan, just to name a few.
And let’s not forget the ‘What’s your game?’ commercials, featuring Mr. T, Chuck Norris, Verne Troyer, Ozzy Osbourne, William Shatner and Aubrey Plaza. There was even a French advertisement utilising Jean Claude Van Damme. Showcasing in-game WoW counterparts for these celebrities, one commercial portrayed Mr. T as The Night Elf Mohawk promoting the ‘Mohawk Grenade’ which would cause players to temporarily look like his character. Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers films, is said to enjoy roaming the game’s world and having fun doing so, just like in real life.
A game as grand as World of Warcraft obviously has its fair share of Easter Eggs. Some celebrities don’t need accounts to breathe the air of Azeroth. Just as Robin Williams will be immortalised as an NPC some have already beaten him to it – whether they wanted to or not. Retired talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is an innkeeper with the name of Ophera Windfury. Paris Hilton, heiress to the Hilton hotel chain, exists as Haris Pilton together with her accessory dog Tinkerbell and her best friend Ricole Nichie (Nicole Richie). You may also come across other recognisable ‘characters’ throughout Azeroth such as Harrison Jones (combination of Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones), and Hemet Nesingway (Ernest Hemingway) along with his author friends.
There is no doubt that the game sports its own pool of celebrities, be they players or NPCs and there is no telling on what server you might share some loot with Cameron Diaz or spark up a conversation with Verne Troyer. One of the beauties of WoW is its anonymity. Whether you’re a beginner, master, somewhere in between or a secret celebrity World of Warcraft is in essence one community and everyone is welcome to become part of it.
Image rights; Blizzard. Stefson