Long have I been a casual critic* of World of Warcraft and similar computer strategy/MMORPG games, mostly because I have witnessed friends fall into this often isolating, haven’t-seen-you-for-days form of addiction (leaving me high and dry on a buddy to hang out with). Sure, there are worse addictions. Okay. That said, I will admit this (via NextNature.net, in spite of being a relatively old story) is pretty damn cool and worth sharing both for its entertainment and educational value:
Hans Jørgen Olsen, a 12-year-old Norwegian boy, saved himself and his sister from a moose attack using skills he picked up playing the online role playing game World of Warcraft.
Hans and his sister got into trouble after they had trespassed the territory of the moose during a walk in the forest near their home. When the moose attacked them, Hans knew the first thing he had to do was ‘taunt’ and provoke the animal so that it would leave his sister alone and she could run to safety. ‘Taunting’ is a move one uses in World of Warcraft to get monsters off of the less-well-armored team members.
Once Hans was a target, he remembered another skill he had picked up at level 30 in ‘World of Warcraft’ – he feigned death. The moose lost interest in the inanimate boy and wandered off into the woods. When he was safely alone Hans ran back home to share his tale of video game-inspired survival.
Moose are actually quite dangerous; some consider them a greater threat than grizzlybears. I’m sure every experienced woodsman, hiker and Boy Scout knows how to manage a moose attack, but chock one (maybe two, for saving his sister? What’s the point system in WoW? +100 to his life bar?) point(s) up for the kid representing the gamers of the world.
*Which I recognize is quite hypocritical on my part, given that I used to play less similar, pre-MMORPG PC strategy games like Heroes of Might and Magic II through VI and Lode Runner: Mad Monk’s Revenge for hours. Yet on blisteringly hot days in Texas when we had to come in from the pool because during the worst of summer it gets too hot after 11am, and no amount of frozen water-filled gallon milk containers makes a darn bit of difference in the bath water temperature of our pool, there was nothing to do but play those games with my little brother on the multi-player setting.