SGood luck getting your computer fixed today. Is there some strange flu that only infects sysadmins sweeping the nation? No — but Blizzard Entertainment did dump Wrath of the Lich King, an update to its online World of Warcraft videogame franchise, on the Internet at midnight last night. What this means: A lot of engineers are going to be calling in lich this morning, having stayed up to download the update and then level their new Death Knight for a foray into Northrend. Yes, World of Warcraft players actually talk like that.You don't need to be able to talk gold and swords to understand that WoW, as it's abbreviated, is a "massively multiplayer online role-playing game" — which means that it's a group timewaster through which people bond. (A lot of people: The game, for which Blizzard charges a monthly subscription fee, has 11 million subscribers.) Sort of like golf! Venture capitalist Joi Ito has called World of Warcraft "the new golf," the social glue connecting a new generation of Silicon Valley businessmen. True enough, I suppose, for the overpaid, underemployed investor class. But for the people who are trying to pick up the slack for coworkers who overdid it on a raid last night, here's what World of Warcraft really is: the new binge drinking.
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