A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Burning Crusade

At midnight tonight, Burning Crusade for World of Warcraft was released. We were late getting our copy; most dedicated gamers had already bought one and installed it before the opening date. Although it wouldn't go live until midnight, they'd be ready.

Our household has one of the more than 8 million paid subscriptions to WoW, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and the top computer game in the world. The virtual world of WoW is immense. Players assume the role of a character, beginning at Level I and accumulating power and skill with money, items, and experience. The virtual world continues to expand and change even while a player is absent from the game.

Burning Crusade is the first retail expansion set released for WoW. To the original two continents, the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, a third, called Outland, has been added. In the expansion set, players cross the Dark Portal to battle the demons of the Burning Legion in Outland.

At 9:45 a.m. we called the nearest store which might carry it, Game Stop on Riverdale Road in West Springfield. They had one copy for sale, and they were opening in fifteen minutes. Ali was at work; Amir and I hopped in the car and sped over to Game Stop. It was 10:10 when we arrived.

I waited in the car, and a minute later Amir came out grinning, carrying a small bag. "I bet they've got a dozen of them," he said, "and every time someone calls up they say, we've only got one left. So that makes the person want to rush over and buy it. I almost want to call them up when I get home and ask them if they've got any left and see what they say."

He didn't, though. When he got home, he had other games to play.