With the passing of legend Robin Williams, we not only lost a great comedian, actor, and kind soul, but we also lost a gamer. It’s no secret that Robin Williams was a very big video game enthusiast, he even named his daughter Zelda after the iconic The Legend of Zelda game first featured on the NES in the 80’s. In the short time since his passing, the gaming community rallied to sign an online petition appealing to Blizzard to add a commemorative NPC (Non Playing Character) in their World of Warcraft game world of Azeroth. The petition garnered 11,000 signatures in less than 24 hours. A Blizzard game designer, Chadd Nervigg (Handle: Celestalon), confirmed via Twitter saying ,”We are taking care of it”.
Williams was a heavily invested World of Warcraft enthusiast, along with many other titles. According to an article posted on PCGamer.com, Williams apparently frequented the Mannoroth server and was known for his antics on the global chat system (apparently, he never turned down a chance to entertain). The description on change.org for the petition mentions:
Mr. Williams said in interviews that he took his World of Warcraft characters very serious – in fact he was well known for being an extreme PC builder who prefered to build his own overclocked and super-cooled systems. He often joked about his WoW addiction but also about the reactions he’d get from other gamers when he admits he plays the game.
If Blizzard follows the request of the petition verbatim, Williams’ character will have an NPC telling jokes at the World’s End Tavern in game. Blizzard has never been shy about adding touches of pop culture to their game universe. For instance, you can visit Haris Pilton (Socialite) and buy fashionable things and a “Gigantique” bag for a ton of gold. There is even a reference to the hit TV show LOST in Northrend where you can find a hatch at the bottom of the lake inscripted with numbers much like the one found at the end of Season 1 of the show. One of the most well known additions was to commemorate one of Blizzard’s own with a decorated headstone in Southshore for Jesse Morales.
The loss of Robin Williams is felt across many genres but while there will be film montages, replays of his TV shows. and many other ways to celebrate his life and body of work, I suspect that he would have appreciate this gesture with just a little more sense of pride given his love of the game.
Of course, his first love and the game we will probably most often associate with him will be The Legend of Zelda and I suspect that there will be an outcry from that fan base for a memorial of their own. Here’s Robin with his daughter Zelda in an ad for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the 3DS.