Virtual Holidays vs. The Real Deal – Part 1 – An introduction for the rest of us…

We’ve talked before about virtual worlds, and the value we see in them. Since we are into costumes, and all things pertaining to them, it’s no surprise that virtual worlds prove an interesting concept to us. Costumes and virtual worlds are means of escape. They’re means of taking on a new set of skin for awhile. Some of us do it for fun, others more seriously, still others for competition. Ultimately, the point is to get away from the drudgery of life and be something else for awhile.

I caught an anonymous tip of an article on Massively.com about the lamenting for a Halloween gone by. As I read it, I noticed that the writer was specifically referring to the Halloween she spent online. Come again?

A further read revealed that she misses the Halloween she celebrated in City of Heroes, a popular superhero online role playing game. I’ve never really experienced at full the concept of celebrating a holiday online, but thought I’d dig a bit deeper to find out what it’s all about. In my research, I found out more than I expected.

Popular games like World of Warcraft, Everquest, City of Heroes, and even the brand new Hellgate: London all represented the costume obsessed holiday with great detail. Each world takes on a different feel, and therefore has it’s independent story about how the holiday is incorporated into their celebrations. For example, in World of Warcraft, the holiday is actually called Hallow’s End. According to the website’s description of the Holiday.

Observed by both the Horde and the Alliance, Hallow’s End is the celebration of the break between the Forsaken and the Scourge. Adventurers can speak to innkeepers to get silly masks to wear during their adventures, and much more. This is just one way to celebrate Hallow’s End. Read below for more things to do during spooky season on Azeroth!

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The dwarf city of Ironforge in World of Warcraft, all prepped up for the festivities.

Well, yeah it’s kind of a bunch of Warcraft mumbo jumbo if you’re not a player and don’t know the story. But what’s great is that there are stories that serve as launch points for these holidays that mimic the real life versions.  Each holiday is accompanied by specific lore that incorporates the holidays for the players. As stated on the website players receive rewards, participate in unique games, and experience accented changes in scenery to give the proper ambiance for the games they’re playing.

An important quality of these online worlds is that they cost to play. Gamers pay an initial price to acquire the game and then pay monthly, quarterly, or even yearly fees to keep having access to the game. The reasoning is because the games typically don’t have any defined end and tend to be regularly updated with new content. Players pay the fee for access to the game’s servers and developers can continue to deliver a living breathing world that changes with time and progress.

There’s one thing that virtual holidays do better than us. A typical online game like those mentioned earlier celebrates these holidays for often weeks on end. This gives players who may not have a chance to attend the celebration as much or on the actual day the chance to experience the events in their full glory.  In a perfect world, we would join this tradition, but a virtual platform is a great way to squeeze a bit more out of the holidays and see just how to keep the spirit of our favorite holidays alive.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be going into the ideas behind celebrating holidays in virtual worlds. More importantly, we’ll take a look at the relation to costumes and these virtual celebrations. With any luck, we’ll get some chances to pop in as well and see how it goes for us. In the meantime, stay tuned to the site.

-collinevan

Everquest 2 Halloween

In Everquest 2, players get to earn masks and candies that give them special powers for fun.

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You can’t really ask for much more in terms of costumes with City of Heroes, but they manage to put on a great Halloween celebration.


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