Before the raid on Anaheim: Heroic Laguna Art Museum
Not all that heroic, actually.
Our 5-man drove into Laguna Beach earlier this morning to partake of the exhibition offerings at the cozy Laguna Art Museum for 15g each. The majority of the space featured large prints of official artwork, as well as fan art and material for related products like books and comics. There were several vaguely WoW-inspired installations, which the docent strained to make relevant to us gamers. And then, at last, we came across the machinima screening room: more on that after the break.
What was most disappointing about the visit, though, didn't hit us until long after we'd left. We trekked north thence, to the convention center in Anaheim and beheld an indoor sea of bodies, snaking like an immense coil amidst white plastic chains. Naturally, we flung ourselves into it. A few hours later, we were each gifted with large boxes entombing chibi space marines, various glossy advertisements, the requisite Blizzard-label hand sanitizer and authenticator. But what, oh what, in such delightful set of gratuities caused our disappointment? Two-for-one coupons to the WoW exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum.
I nevertheless thought the visit was well worth it, though not all my guildmates agreed...
It came down to expectations, I guess. We were going to an art museum, and being an uncultured city boy, I was not surprised to see an awesome collection of stills on the walls. A few sculptures here and there. Even some videos. (And the most unique: one of the original AMD servers that WoW was developed on.) But at least one of us (cough) had different ideas for an awesome exhibition: one that focused less on the game as a medium, and more on WoW as a subject.
This was most apparent when we got to the machinima screening room (a nice and dark little room secluded just beyond the fan art room) where we saw that pretty much all of the non-Blizzard machinima selections were things like music videos and more abstract films. Dopefish and Olibith were well-represented, and we suspected that the museum may have stuck to European machinimators to avoid intellectual property issues. I don't mean to disparage those artists in any way, and it was awesome that machinima was included in the exhibit at all. But the selections focused on things you might see in any other kind of indy short (sex, drugs, music) and nothing that really included WoW or fantasy as a necessary component of the piece. I suppose it did feel like somewhat of a missed opportunity.
Beggars can't be choosers.