Q&A time 01.12

I figured that it had been a while since I last did an open Q&A, so I announced on Twitter today that I would answer some questions, and here you go. Not that you guys necessarily care what I have to say, but a) you’re coming to a site named after me, so I figure you must care at least a little bit, and b) I like taking random prompts wherever I want to go with them, so I’m doing it! Begin the gauntlet!

@carlosfrevert asks: Are you going to play Star Trek Online?

Probably not. I used to play EVE Online and World of Warcraft (and D&D Online, and a couple of other MMOs) back when I worked on Massively.com, but I found out pretty quickly that I never ended up playing either one enough to justify two subscriptions. And I’m not really that much of a Star Trek fan — I am much more of a Star Wars guy. I like the rough and tumble better than the diplomatic teleporting. If STO gets amazing reviews, I may do a free trial, but no, I don’t have any plans to pick up another MMO very soon.

I am planning on playing The Old Republic for a while, only because I suspect it’ll be very different from your usual MMO (and I’m a big Bioware fan). But even then, it’ll be a tough sell to get me away from WoW, and I don’t plan to hold more than one major subscription for any length of time.

What will pull me away from WoW? I’ve heard rumors poking around the Internet lately that have mirrored what I’ve heard offline and off the record for a few months now in whispered conversations with friends of friends of Blizzard employees. Blizzard is a titan of the MMO scene, and whatever they’re planning next will undoubtedly be rad.

@deepholes wants to know: “Mike, should I go to law school?”

If you want to be a lawyer, then I would say yes, you should go to law school, as I believe that’s pretty much the only way it’s done. That’s what I saw when I googled this question, and I agree: law school is tough and expensive and probably not very much fun. The only reason you’d want to go through it is if you really do want to be a lawyer. So the question should probably be not if you should go to law school, but why.

If you should go because your Dad wants you to, or because it’s what you always expected to do, or because you just want to make a lot of money, then no, you probably shouldn’t go (trust me, there are much easier ways to make lots of money). But if you want to be a lawyer, look forward to reading over complicated legal texts, and enjoy dealing with tough issues, probably without any clear answers, then please do go.

My brother went to law school and he’s now an environmental lawyer. Unfortunately, I’m writing this too late to actually call him for his advice (he’s in DC on the East Coast, and I’m in LA), but if I know him well, and I do, he’d probably agree with me: if you’re going to invest that much time and frustration and money in something like that, you better want it. Good luck!

@Lorangriel and @Septictank27: “Why did you quit wow.com?”

That’s not quite a fair question. I wouldn’t say that I “quit” WoW.com.

@spocket1 replies: “Why did you leave WoW Insider?”

Unfortunately, I’ve said all I can say publicly about my leaving the site. If I could tell you more, I would, and I do plan to be at BlizzCon this year, so if you want to know the whole story, come up and ask and I’ll tell you. I’ll just say that there were differences, and I’ll have to leave it at that. There’s no crazy story or anything, but needless to say, as you may already know, I’m still working for the parent company. So you can do the math and probably see why that’s all I got for you. Sorry. The fact of the matter is that, even though of course I miss the community, I’ve moved on and so have they. So that’s that.

Fortunately, I’m still playing WoW, and I’m writing about it every Wednesday here at mikeschramm.com in what I call Warcraft Wednesday. So everybody wins!

And I am talking with Turpster about another podcast. It won’t be another WoW Insider Show, but if we can set up a worthwhile plan and get it moving, I will promise that it will be fun and that you will enjoy it.

@fredgallup asks: “How do you REALLY feel about TotalBiscuit?”


@AngerFork wonders: “If you could be sent any distance into the future without worry of losing your life, how far would you go? What would you see?”

I thought for a while about this one since it was asked this afternoon. I thought about going to the end of my life just to see what happens, but then I figured that wouldn’t be any good. What if it turns out that I died peacefully and that I was just old and lying in bed when I appeared? When I came back, I’d have to wonder if I did anything different with that knowledge, and if I did whether I’d get hit by a bus or not, and I’d just spend my time looking for that bedroom and wondering when my younger self would show up or if I would have made my future different at all. So no, I don’t think I’d want to come back within my lifetime to meet myself.

I thought about coming back, say, a few hundred years into the future to see what things were like from a technological standpoint, but my guess is that I’d be disappointed — either we’d have blown ourselves up by then, a new Ice Age would have wiped most of us out, or we’d all have been turned into morons like in Idiocracy. And honestly, future technology doesn’t interest me too much — either I’ll be disappointed that we haven’t gone farther than I thought, or I’ll be so bummed that we can’t use their flying cars and cool gadgets in the current era.

So I basically decided I’d like to go to the end. Of everything. The entire universe. That seems most enlightening — I’m guessing by then there wouldn’t be any traces of humanity left to bum me out, and I’d get to see what this actually all is, if it all just ends or if it repeats or if there is some outer being or if we’re just someone else’s whimsical imagination. I wouldn’t really be able to do anything when I came back, but I’m guessing just knowing for sure what this all is would probably make my life better.

So that’s when I would go without worry of losing my life — the absolute end of the universe, to see just what happens when the existence of everything we know comes to a close. Plus, I hear the steaks are excellent and the show is good there.

Finally, @TJMadd asks: “What made you move away from Chicago to the West Coast?”

Opportunity, mostly. There’s more chances out here for me to write about video games, movies, music and television, which is what I want to do. There’s more companies looking for community managers, which is something I can do well. There’s more events to cover and more opportunities for interviews and in-person meetings. And there’s more wackiness out here and more strange stories to hear and experience and write down later on. I’ve been wanting to move out to LA for a while, so it’s kind of the culmination of a dream for me.

Plus, the weather is great and the women are beautiful. It’s not all a dream — the traffic is terrible, I still haven’t found a worthwhile pizza place (the food in general here is much less impressive than in Chicago), everything here is pricey and spread out all over the place, and moving to a city where I didn’t really know anyone well was much tougher than I imagined it would be.

But of course it wasn’t anything I couldn’t survive. In general, I’m happy I made the move. It’s been a heck of an experience, it’s paid off quite a bit already, and I really feel like I’m putting together a pretty solid life for myself out here. Can’t really ask for more than that.

Thanks for all your questions, everybody!

Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 1:29 am. Filed under general.
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