Friday, 9 September 2011

Big Brother: Titan Edition

Big Brother and World of Warcraft. They can be in the same sentence..

Have you ever noticed these 'watchers', as I now like to label them? I have always had a subconscious wonder, so to speak, about these statues. Are they just statues? Or could they be monuments. Now, it wasn't until one (insert stormy/misty/dark here) night, that these constructs came into conversation. This particular chat was with Rioriel, from Postcards from Azeroth. After they cropped up, amongst all the important talk on the ancient Murloc Hierarchy and so on, speculation soon took flight.

What could they be? What could they represent? Just what indeed are these mysterious structures. We have a theory.

Warning: Secret conspiracy has possibly been uncovered!

Could these beings be remnants of ancient titanic surveillance systems used to spy on the World of Warcraft population?! Or something more.

Spread out thinly and rarely. Holding a larger presence within the original game, and in the Burning Crusade, they eventually become non-existent in later expansions. What happened?

So, where can you see an example or two of these scattered 'I SAWS' which just seem to fall into the background, despite their size. Well, there are a number of Altars dotted around Azeroth. Such as the Altar of Storms in the Burning Steppes, or a similar ground within the Blasted Lands. The two can be seen below:

The origins of these of these, as laid out to us, are deep within the lore of the Orcs. Used as ritual sites, they were once stages made to channel evil demon energies and powers through to the Orcs, alongside a number of other dark manipulations.

Though, there's more. After venturing into the forever terrifying halls of the Black Temple, it became apparent that there were masses more of the towering statues:

Wait. Where is all this going? What if there is more to it. Could these have been originally set up as an experiment?! An experiment that has long been forgotten. Covered up. Mean, why else would such oblivious items phase out without a word to say. Let's go further.

Looking back at the vanilla and Burning Crusade opening (log in) screens:

Feel the Nostalgia. So, right from the start, they were there. Watching. What if they really were watching you and I. Experiments set up by Blizzard, or even the government. Set up to study us. Monitor us. What if we were the guinea pigs?! That could explain why this game suddenly became so popular right?

Maybe the reason it became swept under the carpet, was because the 'experiment' took control. By, say, roughly 12 million players of so..

MMO - Massive Monitoring Operation

What could they possibly have been trying to research. Are there hidden subliminal messages we have been missing.

What if?

Besides, like you could be made to believe any of that. Right? But anyway, have you seen this..


Now that. That is cool. Gives me an urge to give some art a go myself. What about you guys? Is some WoW-related art something you would like to see? Not promising any wonders, if I did decide to pick up the pencils here.

Before finishing up, I would like to raise some appreciation. Recently I have noticed a few gems around the net. In particular the blog community. More specifically posts/guides, and such, created from pure hard work, dedication and research. For example, just a few that I have come across most recently:
Although the second hasn't actually been useful, as such, to me, being a hunter, there is no reason to neglect the sheer work that has been put into this. Both of which must have required serious amounts of time and effort. All for the benefit of us, the audience.

This is to say thank you to anyone who gives such content to the community, with no expectation of anything in return. If you have invested time into such creations, any shape or form, then send them in. I would love to see more of this, as I am sure you all do.

Keep Posted - Follow/Comment/Subscribe

- Jamin

/Wave from BlackStrike - Thank you Psynister for the Heirloom Guide!


  1. Love this! Something similar first occurred to me during the shattering when I encountered crowds of npc's all protesting and warning about the coming cataclysm (which made me thing about 2012), and then I was given a quest to break up (or was it arrest - can't remember now) these doomsayers - ie. made to work for the big brother government. I felt distinctly uncomfortable doing that as I was more on the side of the protesters. - lol

    Considering the number of studies done on WOW (that I know of) regarding player behaviour, it would not surprise me in the least if Governments studied the player base also. Hell they use computer games to train soldiers these days. What about the recent rise of computer games that ask the player to make moral or immoral choices - such as Mass effect? That is a perfect avenue for studies on empathy and player morality. What about Blizz's failed attempt to introduce RealID on the forums? I think about these sorts of things all the time, so it wouldn't surprise me in the least if MMO stood for Massive Monitoring Operation lol.

  2. @Dora

    Glad you found this of interest. Wasn't sure exactly how it would be received. Different though :)

    You do actually back a valid point. A huge number of studies have actually been carried out and conducted in/around the World of Warcraft and it's player-base. What if..

    Keep the idea's coming :)

    - Jamin

  3. Excellent post, from two perspectives, actually. Your post itself is darkly humorous regarding the ancient watchers and the big brother online community. You already know what a good post that was, though, as you wrote it.

    I want to point out what an excellent post about historical WoW architecture this is. You've gone back and looked at this particular statue type and its prevalence through the expansions, which really is an act of historical video game research. Very interesting! I wonder what else like this you can come up with.

  4. @Stubborn

    You got me! It felt like a risky post to make, wasn't sure how it would be taken. However, I just couldn't resist. Seeing as nobody has ever covered them before! Plus, gave me the opportunity to try something new.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to comment!

    Oh.. And I have more in store if you liked this!

    - Jamin

  5. Jamin what an interesting post! I never really thought about those statues but now you mention it there are a few dotted around and what is their secret meagning? Can I add another watcher to your list? I took a screenie in Nagrand ages ago of some watchers, over near Twilight Ridge in Nagrand... and you're right where did they all go in subsequent expansions? Now I will have keep an eye out for them. Heh heh thanks for adding more world of wastetimecraft stuff for me to do in my WoW time!

  6. @Navimie

    Their true meaning remains a mystery...

    Ah, top stuff! Sure wish I had those in mind when writing this post. Thanks for the pointer :)

    Glad you enjoyed the post, drop by again!

    - Jamin

  7. Thanks to this post, I keep my eyes peeled for these "watchers" whenever I'm flying around. Since I am currently working on my Netherwing rep, I just came across the ones in Twilight Ridge in Nagrand that Navimie mentioned in a comment here. Pretty cool. Now I'm curious to see how many more I can spot.

  8. @World of Elfi

    Aha, it seems to have take that effect on quite a number of readers. I'm glad, in a way XD

    Thanks for commenting!

    - Jamin


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