One Of Us

Here is something about Robin Williams that I did not know:

Robin Williams played “Portal,” and “World of Warcraft,” and “Call of Duty,” and was open about his addiction to them. “It’s like cyber-cocaine,” he told the Daily Telegraph in a 2011 interview. “Especially if you’re online playing against other people, it’s totally addictive, you get lost in the world.” And though he didn’t always play online — “because getting my ass kicked by an 11-year-old is very humbling,” as he said during his Reddit AMA — gamers harbored secret hopes of playing against him someday. “God I hope I end up playing a ‘Call of Duty’ match with you,” one user wrote, wistfully, during Williams’ Reddit AMA.

Now players might just stumble across Williams in a game after all. The idea to memorialize Robin Williams as a “World of Warcraft” Non-Player Character was born in a “World of Warcraft” forum on Monday night, and within hours, a petition had been created to do just that. The petition contextualizes Williams firmly within the gaming community, not as a celebrity, but as one of them: “It was reported that Robin used to play on the Mannoroth server, and was something of a troll in trade on good days or when anonymity allowed. … Because of his presence within our community, we the players of ‘World of Warcraft’ are asking Blizzard to kindly create an NPC within the game that memorializes the actor/comedian. Many have expressed a wish [that] this character perform some of Williams’ best jokes within the World’s End Tavern, so that he may continue making us smile long after his passing.”

I often wonder if I have ever played against a celebrity in all the years I played Warcrack. I shaked that addiction after Pandaria was released, but I have far more days /played than I am comfortable admitting.

35 replies
  1. 1
    Walker says:

    Warcraft is for the olds. Kids these days play MOBAs.

  2. 2
    horatius says:

    He is one of us!! Warcrack survivor hear. Almost lost my marriage over it.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Pandaria beat the pants off the half-baked Cataclysm.

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    He was also a cyclist and a pretty serious fan of pro cycling, traveling to the TdF at least once, in my recollection.

  5. 5
    John Cole +0 says:

    @NotMax: It wasn’t anything specific about Pandaria that turned me off. It’s just that I had played so much of the game for so long that I lost interest. I’ll buy the expansion and play it, though.

    Right now I am playing World of Tanks when I have free time. My old unit, the 11th ACR from Germany, has a clan and I play with a lot of my buddies from back in the day as well as a range of 11th Cav guys from Viet Nam on. We have teamspeak and run clan missions. It’s really a lot of fun.

  6. 6
    Xantar says:

    This doesn’t really surprise me given his daughter’s name.

  7. 7
    c u n d gulag says:

    I’ve never played any computer video games.

    I very rarely played the video games in the bars, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

    While my friends were off spending their quarters fending of asteroids, or seeing now much they could score on some other game, I spent my time with the young women in the bars, seeing whether or not I could “score” – and, I can assure you, I believe I had much more fun than my friends.

    And probably spent less on buying drinks, than were spending on the video games.

  8. 8
    JCT says:

    @Xantar: My college-age son (serious gamer) said that apparently Williams told the head of Nintendo that if they ever made a live-action Pokemon movie he wanted to play Professor Oak!

  9. 9
    ruemara says:

    Warcraft is my game. I’m even playing the beta for Warlords of Draenor. If they do this, I’ll be happy. The beta is an interesting expansion, btw. You’re knocked back to Outland leaves of gear & power and building your own garrison is fun.

  10. 10

    The last video game I played was Tetris. In 1990 we had a version of the original before it was taken off the market and replaced by the U.S. version. I found myself at 3 a.m. sitting on the end of the bed with the sound off while my partner slept soundly playing level after level… and I knew I had to stop. It was about as tough as stopping drinking.

    Now it’s Mah Jong Titans, and just try to pry my mom away from Spider Solitaire.

  11. 11
    InternetDragons says:

    I still play WoW – and I’m admittedly an old, lol! (I am also in the Warlords beta). Like many other pleasures or hobbies, gaming in moderation can definitely enrich your life. Yes, I said that.

    I knew Robin Williams was a gamer; I remember an interview where he explained his kids’ names and shared his passion for gaming. If Blizzard can strike the right low-key note (and I believe they can) it’d be nice to see them offer some recognition for him in WoW.

    John, one of the benefits in the upcoming expansion is that once you purchase it, you are given an automatic level 90 character of any class – or you can bump one of your current characters to level 90. That allows players who may have been away from the game for awhile to start the expansion at the same level as everyone else. No need to do catch-up leveling through old content. I thought it was a nice touch, and a good way to encourage folks to at least take a peek at the new stuff.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    @John Cole +0

    Admit that when Pandaria was announced, my initial reaction was decidedly negative, in a “Blizzard has jumped the shark” kind of way. But they but a decent amount of thought into the balance and mechanics of it, and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Plus it is very pretty.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:


    You’re knocked back to Outland

    If I never see another giant mushroom, it will be too soon.

    But the concept of building and designing (within limits) my own hamlet with slaves serfs a garrison is intriguing.

  14. 14
    BethanyAnne says:

    I am taking one of my breaks from WoW. Right now I’m playing Elder Scrolls Online. It’s damn good. Closest I’ve come to playing with a celebrity is finding out that our rogue, Prion, is a dean of a medical school. If you have a WoW account, but haven’t logged in recently, make sure to log in soon. You’ll qualify for the chopper mount they are going to release.

  15. 15
    fergie says:

    I am a devotee and player of WOW, and one of the Olds. lol When I first heard about Pandaria I too thought they had jumped the shark. But reality… I have never had so much fun in any game. Farming my mats, and getting purple armor on Timeless Isle!!! I’m ready for the expansion. I don’t know how to raid, and have often wished Baloon Juice had a guild because I knew some of you were players. Now however, my main wish is to get the Reins from Hulon!

  16. 16
    Tone In DC says:

    My idea of gaming is Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Arch Rivals (basketbrawl). Once in a while, I’ll find a Dave & Buster’s and play a bit.

    Robin was right: getting your ass kicked by an 11 year old on these games is indeed humbling. So glad that that D&B is a BAR, and the little rugrats can’t get in.

  17. 17
    Nina says:

    fergie – do a google search for Daily Kos Warcraft and you’ll find a guild that might have the same feel. We have some Balloon Juice regulars, I do believe.

  18. 18
    JCT says:

    Was an avid RPG player most of my life – never played any of the online games as life intruded . Always amazed at how many folks play WOW. One of these days….

  19. 19
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I just heard he was also a paper/tabletop gamer; regularly played Traveller and Warhammer 40,000.

  20. 20
    ruemara says:

    Well, if anyone on BJ is on Rexxar and wants to guild up, I have a private guild that’s all my alts, including my beloved dk dps/solo tanker. You’ll have to hit me up via my email first with the toon name and I’m alli but I do miss guild runs.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    My main base of operations is Greymane/Tanaris, Alliance toons, but I also have some Horde toons on Steamwheedle Cartel. Yes, I’m a double agent!

    MoP was a great improvement over Cata, to be sure.

    WoW should do something to memorialize Williams,. I’m sure they’ll find a way…it’s great to know he played the game and did some trolling in trade. Light knows trade needs actual wit as opposed to 20 year olds behaving like preschoolers.

  22. 22
    Geeno says:

    Man, I haven’t played WoW in months. Long stretch of unemployment made the $15 per month too much.
    I should check back in.

  23. 23
    MrSnrub says:

    My closest brush with celebrity was in City of Heroes. A member of our guild was a software developer for COH.

  24. 24
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @MrSnrub: You’ve heard the news about CoX, yes?

  25. 25
    ShadeTail says:

    Of course Mr. Williams was a gamer. It’s pretty well-known why he named his daughter “Zelda”.

  26. 26
    Alex S. says:

    I lost interest in WoW during the middle phase of Wrath of the Lich King. Well, not so much interest, but I felt a great relief not having to prepare for raids anymore. The social forces within the game are very strong and they almost broke me, I had to stop.
    Hmm, celebrities… I also used to play the Civilization games against other people. My most prominent opponent, as far as I know, was the Macedonian ambassador to the United States.

    Hehe, Zelda is a girl?

  27. 27
    Alex S. says:

    @Alex S.:

    Stupid me, I confused Zelda with Link.

  28. 28
    John Cole +0 says:

    @Nina: I’m in the guild. It’s Wreck List on Garrosh. I have a level 74 ud mage named Cankersore in the guild. DKOSMAMA used to run it, not sure if she does anymore.

  29. 29
    Someguy says:

    Gaming is in fact like crack. Success in an intense game in which the individual has a lot of time & emotion invested releases a substantial hit of dopamine.

    Okay, granted, you don’t have to go into a shitty neighborhood downtown to buy a minigun and a bag of grenades, you find them inside the game. But the physical effect is similar to crack or other drugs that function similarly.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Someguy: Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri


    Say no more say no more,

  31. 31
    RobertB says:

    Pandaria chased me off, but I needed the break anyway. I was raiding pretty hardcore for a old-fart family man with a job, a kid, and chores. I made it from BC through Cataclysm, but I left when they decided that Kung Fu Panda needed to be a playable race.

    I’d pick it up again, but my raiding, with the best players I have ever met, has spoiled me. I don’t want to raid that much, and don’t want to half-ass it and suck at it.

  32. 32
    Medicine Man says:

    @Walker: Absolute opposite here; I met my wife in WoW.

  33. 33
    Medicine Man says:

    I played WoW from Classic to MoP, with a couple of short breaks, and just plain burned out. I find I really don’t want to put in the time to do endgame raiding anymore but also find I have little motivation to play MMOs without the endgame to look forward to. I’ve tried a few times but I don’t think I can go back the genre again.

  34. 34
    Mwangangi says:

    Never got into WoW. I do play Path of Exile though. It’s the real successor to Diablo II

  35. 35
    jnfr says:


    What NotMax said.

    We still play.

Comments are closed.