Saturday, 8 January 2011

Pop Culture references in WoW

If you have quested in WoW for more than eight seconds, you know what I am talking about. There are little references to Internet (and mainstream) culture all over the place. From real life, Star Wars, Plants vs. Zombies or Guns and Roses, these “easter eggs” cannot go unnoticed.

Most of the time, it’s fun and drives the mind away from the repetitive grind that leveling can be. However, it raises a question: when is it too much? When does that become annoying? When does it start to affect the player’s immersion in the game? For the moment, I haven’t had too much of a problem with them, but I do find some of them too obvious (like Haris Pilton, pictured above).

I think it’s only funny if it’s a bit obscure. If everyone instantly get the reference (“olol Parris Hilton”) where is the fun? I prefer the ones like the quest “It goes to 11” in Icecrown: kill a few mobs for most people, little reminder of Spinal Tap for some others.
I’d be interested to know other people’s opinion on those references, especially (but not exclusively of course) of roleplayers: when do they limit your immersion in the game? How do you deal with them IC (if you do at all)?

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