Tech by VICE

'World of Warcraft' Turned Its Auction Houses into Discos for a Day

Blizzard made houses of free commerce a place to free your inhibitions during a new 'micro-holiday.'

by Leif Johnson
Jul 22 2017, 10:07pm

Image: Blizzard

There's a nearly naked night elf gyrating on the auction podium where I usually buy my potions. Behind me there's a worgen—Azeroth-speak for a werewolf—salivating on a bench while a human woman dances the Macarena before him in a gown that showcases her thighs. All around me digital bodies swirl and grind while rainbows shoot from dancer to dancer and the multicolored tiles on the floor pulse to a pleasingly funky beat. And me? I'm dancing, too (or at least my pandaren monk is), and she's turning a few heads with her take on the caramelldansen.

Today's the Auction House Dance Party in World of Warcraft, one of the random, quirky "micro-holidays" Blizzard now does randomly throughout the year to enliven the quality of virtual life. Today, the two most frequently used auction houses in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, areas usually reserved for in-game trades, have been changed into impromptu discos complete with glittering disco balls and custom music.

Walk in, and you have no choice. You have to dance. The beat grabs you, and your character immediately start dancing. And the beat goes on, in a way. Dance a little, and you'll get a three-day buff that randomly makes you dance out of combat, all while slowly restoring your health and mana. This kind of event's never been done before, and it'll be gone for a year tomorrow.

The point? There is no point, aside from fun. And here on the Moon Guard server that I've called home for years now, it's especially entertaining. You may have heard of Moon Guard before: it's the server with the notorious Goldshire Inn where both locals and tourists from other servers crowd at all hours of the night to engage in sex acts awkwardly acted out by the limited animations Blizzard provides. At the very minimum, you see dozens of players stripping off their armor there and dancing on tables in their undies.

Image: Leif Johnson/Blizzard

Blizzard long ago said it was going to start policing that (often creepy) stuff, but I'm all but certain the company's given up. It's part of the greater culture and legend of World of Warcraft now, and it's also what makes events like the auction house dance party so entertaining. No other server I know of so thoroughly embraces World of Warcraft in all its silliness. On the dance floor today, I saw the best expression of that.

I saw some people say we need a dance hall like this all year round, but I'm inclined to disagree. It wouldn't be as special or popular. Silly, sporadic things like this remind us that we're just playing a silly game, which can be easy to forget in today's increasingly toxic gamer culture.

And here on Moon Guard, of course, we've always known where we can go to dance and let it all hang loose.

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