Times When the Lines Between WoW and Real Life Were Blurred

When videogames become smash hits, they begin to work their way into the real world. Recent examples of this phenomenon include Fortnite, which has everything from lunchboxes to Christmas tree decorations coated with its branding, and Mario, with everything from Mario drinking glasses to Mario string bags available for purchase. The poker boom of the early 2000s is another example of this, with more poker-related books published and TV shows aired after the game’s rise in popularity.

So, as one of the world’s most popular video games with a lifespan of more than a decade and tens of millions of players, it should come as no surprise that World of Warcraft has made its way into the real world too. But, thanks to the way that World of Warcraft works, the real world has also crept into the game world in various ways.

In both cases, this constitutes a blurring of the lines between these two worlds. Here are some of the times where this has happened.

World of Warcraft Clothing

World of Warcraft is not unique in the fact that it’s possible to buy clothing featuring the game’s intellectual property. However, it is one of the few times where some of this clothing is actually stylish and would blend into real life, going unnoticeable to anyone who doesn’t also play the game.

For example, the Blizzard Gear Store sells World of Warcraft themed clothing with the option to choose your in-game political alliance. The Red Horde clothing will usually feature the main symbols related to the Horde, while the Alliance clothing uses colours and symbols related to the faction in the game.

Poker and World of Warcraft

Poker is one of the most popular card games played today, with millions of users playing online and taking part in live tournaments. Part of this success comes from the fact that it’s possible to learn the rules of poker from an array of learning resources online and the fact that it can be enjoyed from almost anywhere in the world from a smartphone or computer.

This simplicity and popularity have meant that poker has found its way into many other games, including New Super Mario Bros for Nintendo DS, which featured a Mario-themed poker mini game.

But there are also two examples of poker and World of Warcraft mixing it up together, both in the WoW world and in real life. The first is WoW Texas Holdem, an add-on for World of Warcraft that lets you play poker for fun within the game. Compared to dedicated online poker sites though, the features are a little limited.

The WoW Texas Holdem add-on was originally created in 2009, just a few years after the game’s original release, but its development stopped after the original creators lost interest. In 2020, it was resurrected, making it compatible with more recent versions of the game.

Another example is a World of Warcraft poker set, featuring two full decks of WoW-themed plastic playing cards and WoW-themed chips.

World of Warcraft Cooking

World of Warcraft Cooking

Caption: Roast turkey is one WoW recipe that’s easy to recreate

Like in many MMORPG games, cooking is an important skill your character needs to develop to be successful in the World of Warcraft. Preparing meals for your character to eat allows you to restore health.

Numerous recipes exist in the game, around 200 to be precise, made from more than 1,000 different consumable items. Some use fantasy ingredients, such as “crocolisk steaks” and “kobo meat”, though some (like fish) exist in our world too.

With cooking being such an important part of the game, it was only a matter of time before someone created a real-life cookbook based on the recipes found in World of Warcraft.

To cook in the game, you need to find someone with a cooking fire or a brazier, or you need to be able to create your own fire. Thankfully, you can just use the equipment you find in your kitchen in the real world.

The World of Warcraft Cookbook, which can be bought from sites like Amazon, was created by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, a professional “fictional foods chef” who has also created recipes for games like Hearthstone, Elder Scrolls, and Overwatch, as well as a Star Wars cookbook.

She created the recipes by examining still images of dishes in the game and creating ingredient lists that would work in the real world. For example, “Delicious Chocolate Cake” doesn’t actually include chocolate in the game, so she used white chocolate, alongside cayenne pepper, ginger, and cinnamon (since mageroyal can’t be found on Earth).

In the run-up to Christmas, the book’s “Slow-Roasted Turkey” recipe may be a great option if you want to serve up a traditional Christmas dinner with a unique twist.

More so than most games, World of Warcraft has blurred the lines between its digital fantasy world and the real-life that we find ourselves in. It does it in a more subtle way than other games have done, as can be seen with the merchandise, meaning the two worlds blend well together.

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