Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why Pandas?

I've had pandas on the mind for much of the past week. First there was the news of the baby panda born last week at the National Zoo in D.C., with live webcams streaming footage of the mother and tiny infant (did you know that newborn pandas are about the size of a stick of butter???). Then there was the devastating news of the baby panda's death early this week. The thought of the staff hearing the mother make a "distress vocalization", shutting off the cameras, the vets rushing in to do baby-panda CPR etc. but failing to revive it...so tragic.

All the while, the websites I frequent are playing ads for Mists of Pandaria on 15-second loops. Not being a WoW player, I've mostly ignored the ads. Don't need to think about something that doesn't matter to me. But today I finally allowed myself to think about them long enough to come up with the obvious question that had been hanging hidden in the back of my mind: Why Pandas?

I dabbled in Warcraft II back in the day, and I know a bit about World of Warcraft, so I'm somewhat familiar with the races of that World: humans, elves (night and blood), orcs, dwarves, trolls...basically your typical fantasy fare. I don't recall hearing of any anthropomorphic Earth animals in World of Warcraft prior to this. So why the hell have kung fu pandas invaded WoW? Really, what went wrong? Why are WoW players being punished with fuzzy teddies?

Suddenly amused, mystified, but too lazy to put a lot of effort in finding the answer to my question, I headed over to Google to do a quick search. I thought about writing something clear and specific, like "why wow is introducing pandas in mists of pandaria". But then I thought, No, this is such an obvious question about such a famous internet sensation, I cannot be the first person wondering this, this is what I want to know and this search should work, and typed in simply
why pandas
Sure enough, the first hit I got was a very nice discussion of the topic at IGN. Question answered with minimal effort. I won't explain it here, so head over to that link if you're curious.

Having also been bombarded recently by ads for Bing claiming that people prefer Bing search results to Google 2:1, I tried doing the same search there, and was disappointed to find that none of the first page search results were related to Pandaria. Yes, it was a poor, lazy search, but Google knew what I was thinking. It can be kind of creepy, actually (like the time I typed in "What spe" and Google filled in the rest of my question: "What species is Yoda?" WTH you read my mind!).

I wasn't really going anywhere with this post, so I'll just leave you with a panda video. Why pandas? Because they're adorable! Enjoy!


Atomic West said...

I thought the exact same thing about the Pandaria deally! Kungfu Panda knockoff.. . And "Pandaria" is a definite sign of name/concept-creativity deprivation

And same here, I never went past Tides of Darkness

youre blog is pretty awesome btws :D

Mei said...

I bowed out after Wrath... though I would have liked running around as a werewolf. I was saving myself for Diablo 3, too bad it wasn't worth it!

Vanessita said...

That baby panda is incredibly cute :3

About google being creepy, you don't say! I use chrome and I know that it "looks" through everything that I'm accessing in other tabs to "guess" what i'm about to search next. Makes me feel kind of exposed, I console myself with the fact that I'm not out of the ordinary in my cyber activities so there's no reason for them to be paying particular attention on me :P