I’ve been tagged by the eponymous Stropp of Stropp’s World for a project that’s 100% of his own inspiration, aside from the bits (all of it) he’s cribbing from Massively. Don’t call it plagiarism — when it’s admitted to, it’s an homage. (That rhymes with fromage, by the way.) I haven’t read the Massively thing, but Stropp commands us to name our favourite pop culture reference in an MMO. (This is the “we” who got tagged, not the royal “we.”) Since I actually remember my first encounter with a pop culture reference in the first MMO I played, I decided I wouldn’t get all stroppy and actually take part.*
I could try to say something profound about how external references dilute the pristine purity that is the MMO world, but — bollocks. Most of us MMO-geeks were comic book geeks and X-Files geeks and Twilight Zone geeks (the first run, ya whippersnappers!) and of course Buffy geeks, and Mr Whedon is nothing if not chock-full of external reference material. We LOVE external references in our MMOs, though on the whole I think we love them a little more when they’re not quite as obvious as “Agent Scully” or “Siouxie the Banshee” — but hey, whatever floats your referential boat. Me, I liked (more recently — this is still the intro, not the REAL part of the post) seeing Werner Fassbinder the Rally Master in WAR — you feel clever and part of a smart smaller subgroup when you catch those, and it made me laugh for the sheer silliness of using that name for an NPC in an MMO. I still find myself wondering if there’s a Werner Herzog the Rally Master waiting somewhere, probably in a jungle zone with a steamboat in tow.
My first MMO was Asheron’s Call, and not-quite my first guild in Asheron’s Call was The Knights Who Say Ni. It should therefore come as no surprise that my first (and fave) pop culture reference in AC was Pookie, the killer White Rabbit, a direct reference to the Rabbit of Caerbannog from the Monty Python film. But… he looks so harmless!
Aside from being a fun reference, it gave us endless ammunition** for Holy Hand Grenade riffs, it gave us ways to die horribly and usually very quickly, but also quite hilariously, AND if you killed him (or someone did it for you), you could end up with… White Bunny Slippers! Sadly, I can’t find a screenie of those, but I’m sure you can use your imaginations. Asheron’s Call also had PERFECT mendicant friar robes, complete with hoods, so many was the slow Saturday night where we did Flagellant runs through the various towns in the game. … Well… you had to be there. Asheron’s Call was also notable for letting you tip cows, which was another favourite slow-Saturday pastime… Until the cows fought back.
Nothing is ever quite as fresh as your first of anything (MMO, day at school, car, million bucks…), but at least you get to keep your memories. I’m going to sign off before I start sniffling.
Oh! But first, there must be taggage. Remember boys and girls, this is not a compulsory homework assignment. It’s purely extra-credit.And now *I* have to try to tag some (if possible) new, unsuspecting raw meme-meat for this…
- I’d better tag Jen at GirlIRL this time or she’ll kick my ass for missing her twice. She scares me. In a good way.
- The boys over at Wall of Text — they can fight it out for who does this. Or all do it. Whatever. Me, I’d just let Scarybooster win. He’s scary too.
- The also-eponymous Cap’n John. It’s a piratey name and that’s good enuff fer me. And also slightly scary.
- He who is Oakstout, provided he’s not too slammed by work to take part. I’m trying to say something scary about him but… he’s just a giant cuddly oakstouty thing. Gotta work on your scary there, Oak.
Whew. Four tags are a lot easier to do than 6. Next time we start a Memememe, can we limit it to 2 tags?
* See what I did there?
** And there?