Tuesday, January 26, 2010

wow.com Cover Letter

Well .. here is my cover letter that I'm about to send to wow.com to try and score a columnist position. Let's hope trying to be clever, for once, pays off.

Greetings, editors!

I won’t lie to you: I’m a relatively new reader to wow.com. Why is that? Well, I could tell you that I had never been able to read before coming wow.com and that it delivered unto me an epiphany of literacy, or I could tell you that my eyes were gouged out by red-hot forks and then eaten by huge, flightless birds, only to have been restored mere days ago when a friend mentioned your website, or I could even tell you that I had been trapped deep underground without Internet access by hairy giants, whom I had to slay with little, pointy sticks to escape in a series of daring combat maneuvers - but all of these things would be lies told to explain why I hadn’t read wow.com before. As you may know, lies are not true, and none of these are the reasons I did not before read wow.com.

Rather, I simply did not know about it - but that’s pretty boring, I think, so you guys can choose any of the three reasons listed above for why I did not visit wow.com before. What you believe is entirely your business.

I didn’t decide to send you this email to tell you about why I haven’t been reading your website for the last few years, or any of my heroic exploits that allowed me to do so - but rather why I started reading it, will continue to read it, and why I think you should let me write for it.

You see, I quite like wow.com; it’s intelligent, well-written, and professionally-orchestrated. I could list another fifteen or so adjectives about why wow.com is great and why I feel as though I should be a part of it, but I expect you guys have a pretty good idea of what those adjectives might be - so I won’t waste any more of your time with them. Instead, I’ll move on to why you should hire me to write a column for you.

Reason one: I play Warcraft far more than I should, which I’m pretty sure is a sign that I should either be writing about it, or that I should enroll in a gaming addiction center.

Reason two: I already write about videogames constantly on my website, 40oz1game.com. I also drink a lot of beer while doing so, hence the theme of the sight: computer games and beer.

Reason three: I’m reasonably-okay at writing, and every website can always use more at-least reasonably-okay writers that use a lot of hyphens. I would like to say that I am TOTALLY AWESOME at the craft, but I am a humble man, and I will leave that judgment to you, dear editors.

So here is my pitch: I’d like to write a weekly or bi-weekly column focusing on me thinking about issues and aspects of Warcraft that some people might not, but are certain to react to. Sometimes, I think it will be fun to work with contemporary stuff that all players have experienced on some level - such as the LFG system, and why I think it might destroy the best part of Warcraft. (This article, published on my website originally, can be found here: http://www.40oz1game.com/2010/01/playing-so-hard-i-forgot-to-drink-world-of-warcraft-and-the-lfg-system-and-why-it-sucks/)

The basic idea of the piece, if you are not inclined to read my analysis of it, is that the LFG System removes the best basis for making new pals: meeting, bleeding, and dying with them in dungeons.

I’ve also got a piece in progress about how both the Alliance and Horde expeditions into Northrend are basically endorsements of the Western process of subjugating less-advanced cultures, and another piece about how Warcraft is an enormous endorsement of capitalism where literally every aspect of play is made into a commodity.

I don’t think that I’m going too far out on a limb here when I say that players will react to these ideas - and I think they will mostly disagree with them! That would be pretty much awesome, as I’m used to having people disagree with me, and if it can stimulate conversation on your website - then all the better!

In closing, dear editors, I very much hope that you will consider my proposal with love and adoration. Failing that, I would hope for maybe a begrudging respect, or maybe even mild approval. I’m willing to work for basically nothing, as I am already a poor college student, and not getting paid for work is something that I’ve been doing for years.

A final thing to keep in mind, dear editors: I killed giants for you - with tiny little sticks - just so that I could escape the deep, dark dungeons to read wow.com. Surely, that’s deserving of a columnist position.


Daniel A. Russ

Various Updates - Stay Out of Trouble, Kids

So I recently found work-study employment with a great local program called Launch. The basic idea is that they provide micro, community-oriented loans, workspace, and workshops for entrepreneurs in Michigan-based colleges. Although I have objections with the system (most notably the great potential for gentrification), I think it's a great program - it helps stimulate the local Flint economy, and gets great ideas into succesful businesses. Even the staunch socialist within me likes the idea.

However, there was a complication - my criminal record. For the sake of posterity, I thought that I would post my explanation of that here - specifically, because it encapsulates my frustration with the entire ordeal.

I was recently informed that I was to explain to you the circumstances of my disorderly conduct charge as it appears on my record. What happened was a party and the consumption of alcohol, which culminated in an ever-increasing level of volume that became an issue once much of the party moved outdoors. When the police arrived, instead of acting calmly and following their instructions, myself and a few friends protested - loudly and drunkenly. This lead to an arrest and a small set of charges, which I was able to reduce to disorderly conduct by way of my lawyer, a set of fines, a year's worth of probation, and a sizable number of hours for community service.

I paid my fines, met every requirement of probation, and completed my community service working for the Mott Community College newspaper. Although I very much regret what I did, and the specter of the charge has haunted me for some time, I recognize that it was the folly of a younger man; several years have passed since the incident, and my record has remained entirely clean and I have stayed out of trouble.

In other news, I've applied yet again to work for mmorpg.com. Mr. Wood didn't like one of my favorite pieces on the objection that it was a little too subjective - that's understandable, but I still think that it was an excellent piece. When I put the finalized version over on 40oz, I'll amend this post to include a link to it. I'm also sending out an application to work as a freelancer for examiner.com - we'll see how that goes. Finally, I'm putting together a pitch for wow.com as a columnist - the basic idea is to be a stuffy academic bitching about thematic troubles in WoW. When I send the pitch, I'll throw it up on here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Is it better to have th crowd or to be truthful/correct?

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