Those who were expecting to read the last installment of my three-part series on Content Interest Index will have to wait a little longer. Instead I’ve decided to lighten things up. I recently paid a visit to Gigi, also known as PVPGurl. By combining two of her many talents — playing World of Warcraft and being her charming self — Gigi has accumulated over 35,000 YouTube channel subscribers and racked up millions of views to her videos. (In case you’re wondering: Yes, her real name is Jaja, not Gigi. She’s one complicated gurl.)
I’ve been fascinated with multiplayer gaming environments for years. In 2006 I occasionally blogged about the creative opportunities that Second Life provided — but I had never delved into that world, and more recently, I never played World of Warcraft (WoW). I didn’t know what I was missing.
Through my chats with Gigi, I discovered that the creative platform behind this long tail pastime is incredibly powerful. The animation engine used in WoW is called Machinima. She and her animator friends have used Machinima to create dozens of music videos and parodies. Each is loaded with inside jokes and references that bewilder the clueless (like me) but beguile her fellow WoW players.
A Long Tail Celebrity
To those in the know, she offers a gourmet feast … catchy, fun music and commentary on the game. It’s content that is blogged about, commented on, and viewed by tens of thousands of fans. She tells me she’s perfectly safe to walk the streets of Milwaukee’s East Side, but in WoW, she’s a full-blown celebrity — often forced to assume more anonymous avatars when playing, lest she get stopped and chatted-up by awestruck fans. “I don’t mind,” she said, “But when I’m in WoW I want to play like everybody else!”
I’ll let her tell you more herself. The video includes a trailer to /afk, the feature film coming out in November. It’s about WoW, or course, and she directed all of the animated sequences.
I’ve asked her a few questions about how she uses social media to stay in touch with fans. If you have other questions for her, please don’t hesitate to post them as comments. If I gather enough of them, perhaps I can once again inhabit my dashingly handsome avatar and pose them personally to Gigi.