Sunday, December 2, 2007

If the Gods be for us, who be for them?

Taking a brisk constitutional around the blogosphere, I came across this note from the Armchair Generalist; it seems that Hollywood has earmarked 100 Million dollars to produce an epic World of Warcraft movie. To put this in perspective, this is more than the GDP of the world's poorest country, Kiribati, but that's not what has me curious.

What perspective would the movie be shot from? Unlike traditional fantasy war epics, like Lord of the Rings, it's hard to put your finger on the "bad guy" in World of Warcraft. Whether a scowling crc hunter or a comely human sorceress is your best friend or your worst enemy depends, on, well, whether you're a member of the inhuman Horde (orcs and minotaurs and the undead, oh my!) or the more normal (looking) humans, elves, dwarves and gnomes that make up the Alliance.

The word on Wikipedia is that the movie will be shot from the Alliance perspective; potentially alienating the approximately 3.4 million active members of the Horde (for an interesting look at how in-game demographics map to the real world, check out The Daedelus Project).

This is an interesting parallel with the real-world media, which rarely shows both sides of the story; and to a real world still so hung up on national identities that we oft forget that, as Mark Twain wrote in "The War Prayer", when we call upon our God to guide and guard our soldiers in battle, we ask in the same breath that "O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead..."

And who do you suppose they are praying to, in their final hours?

Blizzard Entertainment, which created the game, has sometimes created threats to the game world that have required the Horde and Alliance to, if not work together, then at least to set aside their differences and fight a common foe.

Could this be an option for the producers as they begin the process of writing and refining this script? At this point, about all that can be said with certainty is that there'll be at least one ill-tempered dwarf grumbling in that traditional dwarven Scottish accent.

1 comment:

Charli Carpenter said...

Of course, taking your argument to its logical conclusion, one would also need to incorporate the story from the perspective of whatever "threat" caused the Horde and Alliance to combine forces. Good storytelling gets much more complex then, and confuses little boys who have a dreadful need to see the world in terms of good guys and bad guys.

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