Friday, April 25, 2008

Heroes Series [Ezra]

Yesterday I came across a story on that was about ten months old. It was originally printed in the OC Register, about a ten year old boy named Ezra who had brain cancer. What made the story extra-special was that when Make-A-Wish came round to offer a wish, he asked to go the offices of World of Warcraft game designer, Blizzard. He made this wish because he and his dad had become avid gamers in World of Warcraft.

Now in World of Warcraft, Blizzard created a fantastic game that for 3 years has entertained over ten million people. However, while it's never happened to me, I've heard of many bad customer service experiences about Blizzard. I'm sure that when servicing millions of people, you're going to have SOME mistakes, but unfortunately bad mistakes are quite loud.

In any case, what I read in the story made me very impressed with both Blizzard and Ezra. Blizzard welcomed this little gamer with open arms. They toured the facilities of course, but also opened up the game for him by letting him explore the highest reaches, by giving his character all sorts of great gear, and even let him design a weapon, a quest, and a Non Player Character -- which Ezra voiced himself! They didn't have to do any of that, but they did, and did it very well. I'm proud of you Blizzard!

And Ezra was excellent as well. He was polite, well-mannered, strong, and resilient -- showing far more courage and tact than men four times his age. When he was offered to design the weapon, he didn't create some uber-pwnage god-stick, he simply put together a very cool (little more powerful than average) crossbow. Blizzard wanted to attribute the weapon to him personally, but he humbly declined, not wishing to appear egotistical. A Class-Act all around! (And he looks wicked cool with an eye patch!)

There are many, many people rooting for Ezra's recovery -- myself included. You can catch up on Ezra's story and get updates at the Gadgetress Blog.

Don't make me [MIND BLAST] you...

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