It’s not hard to see why Blizzard games have brought people together. They have a focus on the community both in and out of the games as well as inclusion and acceptance.
The vibe and spirit of BlizzCon 2018 is something that should be experienced by all gamers; n00b and veteran alike. And whilst I’m yet to experience it face to face myself, I sat for the third year in a row at my computer hyped for news, announcements and events.
There is a sense of connection, and while I’m not there I felt included, invited to be a part of this celebration of gaming, and of family. I felt foolish as I got chills or wiped away tears from the corner of my eyes when a nostalgia was awakened within me.
Seeing Mike Morhaime handover the mantle of leadership to J. Allen Brack stirred something that made me feel thankful for his years of service and confidence in the new leadership.
It sounds silly to say right now as I type these words, but it was clearly important to them that I see the camaraderie and family bond that has led to Blizzard’s success over the years. They needed me to trust them and cared what I thought.
I felt included, on the other side of the world at 3 am, sitting at my PC and trying to convince my wife I’m wiping the sleep out of my eye not tears. Where else can we let our guard down and feel that raw appreciation for our favourite things in the world? I’m convinced that unspoken acceptance and community is what makes events like Blizzcon, PAX & Supernova so successful.
And the best thing is I’m not alone in this feeling, as the hosts discuss their favourite parts of the weekend, events and esports the recurring theme was a community.
Community and Coming Together
With over a dozen reported proposals across the Anaheim venue during BlizzCon, it’s clear that these games mean so much to so many people. From competitive esports, cosplays and sneak-peeks at upcoming games and content, there really is something for everyone.
BlizzCon isn’t the only place you can catch that feeling, but it’s one of the biggest. The giant spectacle of themed shopfronts, exclusive collectables like pins and merch, a massive celebration of what makes us so unique but brings us all together.
With the performances and closing announcements, I felt a great sorrow which seemed to be echoed by the hosts, throughout the venue and across social media. The parting scenes were overwhelmingly heart-warming.
Warcraft guild members who had never met each other before this weekend shared hugs, amateur Overwatch teams posed for photos with their favourite pros and Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer before bugging him about a shot at season 3 and aspiring streamers networked and clapped hands before parting ways.
A soulful performance by San Francisco rock-band Train closed out the festivities complete with Cosplayers all over the stage and then all of a sudden the virtual ticket cast was over.
Then It’s All Over
The final shot, a crowd dispersing in high spirits across a floor littered with confetti after two days of esports finals and losing their minds over announcements for their favourite games, everyone files out of the Anaheim Convention Centre in California eager to get home and log on.
I sit for a moment, fire up World of Warcraft and jump on my Warrior. That super infectious disease called emotion is all over the server.
Everyone is hyped, players are talking in ‘General Chat’ about how great the new content looks and they can’t wait for patch 8.1 to hit on December 11. I open up a tab in chrome and begin Googling flights and accommodation for BlizzCon 2019.