World Of Warcraft Starlet Tells Of Path To Web Celebrity
World Of Warcraft Starlet Tells Of Path To Web Celebrity
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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.

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About the Author

Jeff Larche
Jeff Larche has a deep background in database marketing and direct response. His is a consultant specializing in CRM and interactive marketing with Accenture. His own blog, which is also the name of his original consulting business, is Digital Solid. When he's not working at his day job, he's provided digital strategy support for a worthy not-for-profit, Rock the Green: mixing education about our environment with a day of great live music on Milwaukee's beautiful lakefront!
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  • Wow! nice post. the video is also gud. really enjoyed it.

  • thanks for sharing this nice post to all. waiting to see more articles like that.

  • Alex

    WoW FTW!! :D

  • Jeff Larche

    Thanks, Taylor. There is something in my genes that makes me averse to gaming of any sort, in spite of my hopeless love of technology. (On a related note, I also went ATV-ing in the desert with two much younger friends a couple of years ago, and was terrified. Sad to say, I think Jaja chose a true reflection of the “inner Jeff” with that wimpy Gnome avatar!)

    Computer gaming is often dismissed by my generation, including some who are deeply into the world of social media. They're missing the boat.

    These gaming environments are, I believe, the future of education, for one thing. When designed to do so by skilled educators, they provide opportunities to teach people in the ways that best suit their personalities and intellectual requirements.

    They also have a role in the future of political discourse, allowing those with television-shortened attention spans to investigate ideas in a way that is agreeable to them.

    This and other opportunities are tossed out the window by a knee-jerk dismissal of computer gaming as intellectual junk food. And I say this as someone who hasn't played a computer game of any sort with any dedication since the days of arcade Donkey Kong!

  • Purely awesome content. I'm a WoW gamer as well, thanks so much for posting! :D

    • Jeff Larche

      Thanks, Taylor. There is something in my genes that makes me averse to gaming of any sort, in spite of my hopeless love of technology. (On a related note, I also went ATV-ing in the desert with two much younger friends a couple of years ago, and was terrified. Sad to say, I think Jaja chose a true reflection of the “inner Jeff” with that wimpy Gnome avatar!)

      Computer gaming is often dismissed by my generation, including some who are deeply into the world of social media. They're missing the boat.

      These gaming environments are, I believe, the future of education, for one thing. When designed to do so by skilled educators, they provide opportunities to teach people in the ways that best suit their personalities and intellectual requirements.

      They also have a role in the future of political discourse, allowing those with television-shortened attention spans to investigate ideas in a way that is agreeable to them.

      This and other opportunities are tossed out the window by a knee-jerk dismissal of computer gaming as intellectual junk food. And I say this as someone who hasn't played a computer game of any sort with any dedication since the days of arcade Donkey Kong!

      • Haha, I think Jaja picked good on that one. Gnomes are typically the ones most joked about for their “puntability” (think football). ;P

        Sadly it is, I know. I have my feet firmly planted in both because of my upbringing and my generation.

        Definitely right on the “future of education” comment. Alot of work has been put into WoW and it sharply mirrors real life, though in reality it's just a game.

        I think you'll like chewing on this post I wrote a while back, if you want to feed your “gaming fancy”: http://taylormarek.com/2009/12/09/how-world-of-warcraft-is-like-life/ ;)

  • barbaraling

    Oh way TOO cool as in beyond cool – I have several die-hard WoW friends who will go bananas about this post. Can't wait for email, I'm texting it to them now – thanks for this article!

    • Thanks for the kudos. Jaja Jarrar and her animator friends deserve all the praise. I’m fascinated with the creative freedom Machinimation gives artists, writers and musicians (Jaja has a degree in graphic design). Once I decided that I wanted to share this intriguing brand of user generated content, the format suggested itself. It was an unadulterated blast!!!