Slaying Monsters for Science
This week’s Science contains Slaying Monsters for Science, by John Bohannon. Mr Bohannon penned the following abstract:
The first scientific conference held in Azeroth, the online universe of the role-playing game World of Warcraft, went off virtually without a hitch. Although the participants all died during the final day’s social event — a massive raid on an enemy fort — they agree that this event is a glimpse at the future of scientific exchange.
Sounds like a natural evolution for some fields.
The article is very interesting, and very funny. It concludes:
Then again, not even a conference in Vegas ends the way ours did. With fireworks bursting and confetti still drifting all around the dancing mob of wedding guests, Catullus announced the final event: a massive attack on Sentinel Hill, an Alliance stronghold. As we surged over the hills around the unsuspecting fort, everyone yelled, “For Science!” Bainbridge had enlisted the help of Alea Iacta Est, the largest guild in Azeroth. At first it seemed we were unbeatable. The 70th-level characters among us cut down the Sentinel Hill guards where they stood. We boiled up the spiral staircase to the platform atop the tower. It was so crowded that I could hardly see the parapets. Several people tumbled off during our celebratory dance.
But it wasn’t long before Alliance players learned about the Science guild raid on Sentinel Hill. Word spread that “the scientists are running amok!” Powerful Alliance characters arrived, and the tide of battle turned against us. Within half an hour, every last one of us lay dead on the grass. Victory is short-lived in the harsh world of science.