Scientists get pwned, conference ends in total carnage.
    By T. Ryan Gregory | June 19th 2008 05:49 PM | 5 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About T. Ryan

    I am an evolutionary biologist specializing in genome size evolution at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Be sure to visit


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    Video games and I get along well.  Always have.  When I was a kid, my father and I went regularly to the local arcade to play our favourites.  (Guess the decade: I usually played centipede and Tron).  I haven't owned a console system since the original Nintendo, but games have occupied a significant portion of my PC hard drive since high school.


    I don't really get time to play games regularly anymore, but I am not ashamed to note that games in the Warcraft series ate up a significant portion of what seems, in retrospect, like the infinite amount of free time that I had as a student.  If I did have time, I probably would have checked out World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of participants (one of whom is Leeroy Jenkins).  Of course, now I find out that I could have been playing World of Warcraft and attending a scientific meeting at the same time -- and not by bringing a laptop to a conference room and sitting at the back.

    Tomorrow's issue of Science includes a column entitled The Gonzo Scientist by John Bohannon, which discusses the first scientific meeting held in Azeroth, the world in World of Warcraft. According to the article Slaying Monsters for Science, the meeting itself was a success, notwithstanding the fact that a few participants were devoured by wild animals early on (as Bohannon notes,  "Anyone who has been part of a conference's organizing committee knows that some glitches and mishaps are just unavoidable").   

    After the last session, members of the Science Guild decided to raid an Alliance stronghold... it did not go well.

    Have a look at the article and video at



    We've broken new ground. I am reasonably sure this is the first time 'pwned' has been used on this site.

    It makes me feel all edgey and young.

    I don't think it's possible for a man to have a female companion and a successful WoW career. They just don't mix. Might as well include divorce papers in the box.

    The "female companion" comment cuts the other way, too. No divorce in this house but my wife is seldom seen these days... WoW has her entangled in its web.



    T Ryan Gregory
    First one I ever gained a 'free man' in.