Posts Tagged ‘real life’

Tenacious D to Perform at Blizzcon

From the “jealous I won’t be there” department, news broke yesterday that Tenacious D, Jack Black’s band, will be wrapping up the festivities at Blizzcon next week. Here’s the press release frrom Blizzard PR:

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that the greatest band in the world*, Tenacious D, will perform at the closing concert during this year’s sold-out BlizzCon(R). Taking place October 22-23 at the Anaheim Convention Center, BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft(R), Diablo(R), and StarCraft(R) game universes. While tickets to the convention are currently sold out, viewers can watch at home by ordering a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering over 50 hours of event coverage (including Tenacious D’s performance) globally over the Internet and also on DIRECTV(R) in the United States.

Tenacious D is made up of musical visionaries Jack Black and Kyle Gass. After forming in 1994, the duo rose to rock god-dom following the release of the HBO cult-hit series Tenacious D: The Greatest Band on Earth. Since then, Tenacious D has released two albums and a pair of live DVDs, sold out arenas around the world, and starred in their own feature-length movie, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny. At the BlizzCon closing ceremony on October 23, the band will perform an earth-shattering set that includes the debut of new, soon-to-be-legendary songs.

“The best way to wrap up two days of epic entertainment is with an epic rock concert–and few bands fit the bill like Tenacious D,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to a great show and can’t wait to see what Jack and Kyle have in store for everyone attending BlizzCon and watching from home.”

In addition to serving as a gathering place for the Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, BlizzCon will have an array of activities, including discussion panels, competitive and casual tournaments, contests, hands-on playtime with current and upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games, and more. Viewers at home can order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket for $39.95 USD, available as a multi-channel Internet stream around the world (pricing and availability may vary by region) and also via DIRECTV in the United States . Visit for more details and ordering information.

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at As BlizzCon draws closer, further details about the show will be announced at

*Based on internal reports from Tenacious D and key band devotees

Okay, that’s just awesome. And honestly, no one will be able to say that Blizzard doesn’t know how to throw a party. Maybe the only way that show could get any more awesome is if Tenacious D did an unexpected rock battle with the Level 80 Elite Tauren Cheiftains. Now THAT would be awesome.

Jinx! Unveils Fall 2010 World of Warcraft Line

Normally I don’t think that every single release of World of Warcraft-related gear is post-worthy, but this time around Jinx! has some goodies that are worth highlighting, like the murloc shirt above! The Fall 2010 World of Warcraft line is out, and this one, “Murhol Pop Art” is a good example. Some of the others? A simply awesome “Fear Hogger” tee, some new Alliance and Horde zip-up hoodies, and a Pandaren Brewmaster tee!

Blizzard Reverses Course, Real Names to Not Be Required on Official Forums

Blizzard made an announcement this morning I thought they wouldn’t make. Here’s the meat from Nethera’s post on the official forums about it, where she’s reposting a message from Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime:

Hello everyone,

I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

It’s important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as the ability to rate posts up or down, post highlighting based on rating, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.

I want to make sure it’s clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you’ll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard’s success from the beginning.

Mike Morhaime
CEO & Cofounder
Blizzard Entertainment

I didn’t think Blizzard was going to retract the policy this way, but clearly the demand got to them and they decided that this was a bad idea.

So, now let’s see if the people who threatened to or went ahead and canceled their subscriptions return to the game, or if the spectre of Real ID in other forms and implementations is enough to keep people away from the game for privacy concerns. What do you think about the reversal? Sound off in the comments!

More on Real ID: Who’s Behind This? What Should I do?

In the past few days, the controversy over Real ID and the changes to the forums that require real names to be displayed next to posts has all but dominated the WoW-community and then some. Major news outlets have covered the changes, Blizzard has come under fire from players and non-players alike, and while most of it has to do with both the fact that the changes to the forums (especially the customer support and technical support forums, where users come for help) are unwanted, some of it has rightfully become a larger discussion about Real ID and what Blizzard’s intentions were when they announced it.

Some people have gone so far as to assert that Blizzard isn’t behind this at all. From the World of Warcraft Livejournal Community comes this story about how at least one person on the inside has said that Blizzard employees are as angry about the change as players are, and that this is a directive coming down from Blizzard’s Activision overlords:

“Got in touch with my ex-flatmate, whose sister works as a GM for Blizzard, to see what the internal buzz on this was. Apparently, at the moment the employees are largely as pissed as the players, and she stated that despite attempts to keep it hushed, it has become known that the big creative players within Blizzard are pretty much as unhappy about this as we are. Everybody has been told they are not free to comment on this situation outside of specially prepared statements.

It’s still going ahead, however (and here’s where in-house rumours and hearsay really start coming into play): from what they’ve picked up, the Blizzard leads have been told in no uncertain terms that the non-gameplay-related direction of the game is working to a different blueprint now. GC and company are free to play with shiny new talent trees all they like, for example, but for the first time the decisions regarding implementation, Real ID, and plans for the general acquisition of new players for the business are no longer in Blizzard’s own hands, and that’s not going down too well.”

I would buy this, actually – although Blizzard has made some pretty unpopular moves in the past, this is by far the worst, and Blizzard would have to know it. It’s also likely that this is why they took so much heat when the rumor (not confirmed to not be true) arose that their employees may have been exempt from the new forum rules. It’s possible that the idea was floated that Blizzard employees would be exempt, and then due to the already simmering backlash, it was retracted quickly.

A number of people have taken to the torches and pitchforks, and a few other people have already cancelled their accounts due to the change. While I tend to have a more metered approach to things (and I don’t actually plan on canceling my account,) I applaud the dedication to conviction that those people are showing.

The problem I see here though is that Blizzard and Activision both know how to ignore the forums by now – they probably assumed they got all of the value they could get from the complaints on the forums in the first 24 hours, and now people are just piling on – they may be discounting a great deal of player anger due to the echo chamber of the web. From the cancellation perspective, we have to keep in mind that over 12-million people play World of Warcraft worldwide, and if even 120,000 people quit over the Real ID fiasco, that would only amount to ONE PERCENT of the global player base.

So, you’re likely thinking, am I defending them or throwing my hands up because it’s all hopeless anyway? Not at all. I say vote with your voices, vote with your feet, and vote with the tools that Blizzard has given us. Over at, there’s an excellent post about how to opt-out of Real ID that I think everyone should at least read, if not follow directly if you plan to continue playing.

I would suggest players that simply can’t play the game anymore because they can’t stand this kind of Facebook-style data exposure should, without hesitation, cancel their accounts. And not just through the Web form, although that’s the easiest way to do it – I think they should call Blizzard’s customer support line and let them know directly that the reason you’re cancelling your account is because of the forum changes and the intrusive policy changes made with regard to Real ID.

In fact, even if you decide you want to continue playing, I think you should lodge your complaint with Blizzard about the changes and about the policies, and let them know that while you will still play the game, your support for them has diminished significantly (as mine has.)

A number of posters at the Livejournal Community have taken it a step farther, which I can’t really oppose: Hit Activision/Blizzard where it hurts: in their shareholder’s wallets. Sell their shares, whatever little you may hold, and make your complaints about their policies public.

Many people are comparing Real ID and these changes to Facebook’s infamous policies and dodging questions around the integrity of personal data that users trust with the service, deriding Facebook and Zynga (makers of Farmville, Fishville, and all of those other games I can’t really stand) for similar practices. As much as we may hate all of those entities, the fact of the matter is that Facebook and Zynga’s partnership is a multi-million dollar deal in a multi-billion dollar “social gaming” industry, and Activision/Blizzard is bound to want to get in on that kind of action. Similarly, for all of the fuss over Facebook’s privacy policies and “Quit Facebook Day” and the massive Internet echo chamber around all of it, a ridiculously minute number of people actually left Facebook for it, the Diaspora Project is still nowhere near off the ground, and the furor has all but blown over. Activision/Blizzard is hoping, as will likely happen, that this will all blow over in a few weeks.

Finally, whatever you choose to do with your wallets or your accounts, vote with your voice and make it clear that you’re concerned deeply about the changes on whatever forums you choose, in whatever manner you choose. Again, I wave people off of the Official Forums because Blizzard is used to ignoring them by now, but the fact that the blog community and the gaming community are in the middle of a firestorm about this and even the mainstream media has picked up the story (albeit their take on it is largely “accountability first, Blizzard is cleaning up their forums, and oh yeah some people are mad about it) mean that there’s traction to the story, whatever your take on it is.

All of those things are small things that individuals can do, but collectively Activision/Blizzard will (if they’re not already) pay attention to the concern of their customers. I’m optimistic that the concerns of the community and the players will actually be heard, but I’m also a stark realist when it comes to technology and privacy. Away from the game, I work at a company whose business is information, and on the side I’m a technology writer. I know how these things play out, and the power of the echo chamber for the minority doesn’t always overcome the apathy of the masses.

Even so, that shouldn’t stop any of us from doing what we think is right, and at the very least what we think is best for our personal privacy and our personal data that we’d like to keep private.

What do you think? Will you be cancelling your account over the changes? Have you already done so? On the other hand, do you think this is all overblown and the “what-if” of the changes have been overstated? Perhaps you’re just planning on opting out of Real ID and moving on?

Some people have said that the breaking point for them is when/if Real ID makes its way to the Armory and characters will be rolled up under people’s real names – what would you do then? Let us know in the comments! :: Rumor: Blizzard Employee’s Real Life Names Will Not Appear on the Real ID Forums has reported this afternoon a number of disturbing pieces of information that have come to light around the whole Real ID means real names on the official forums controversy.

While I don’t think that anyone can debate that Blizzard employees can’t have their real lives disturbed or intruded upon by in-game issues (the last thing a community moderator or GM needs is to be followed to their home or be contacted personally because they locked a thread or didn’t provide an answer sufficient to someone who takes the game entirely too seriously) the rumor that Blizzard employees will be exempt from the changes implies that Blizzard definitely understands the severity of what they’re doing, but simply haven’t decided to extend that concern to their customers as well as their employees. Here’s what had to say about it:

So here’s what we know:

  • Bashiok / Drysc posted his real life name yesterday, and had his privacy violated by people posting maps to his house, his parents’ names, and (potentially incorrect) cell phone numbers.
  • We have seen multiple reports of WoW players who have called up Blizzard’s support line and spoken with representatives who’ve told them blues will no longer be using their real names in the new forums.
  • Josh, a Blizzard phone rep said that Blizzard employees “cannot risk having their personal lives compromised by in-game issues.”
  • Blizzard blue representative Rygarius locked, but did not delete nor deny, a thread on this.
  • has emailed PR contacts within Blizzard for comment, and have not heard anything back.

As with the previous post, I’m of two minds of this – first, it’s unfortunate that it’s clear to Blizzard the gravity of this change. They know it, but they’re moving forward with their player-base anyway. It’s also likely that Blizzard employees will be exempt from other Real ID concerns, like the friends-of-friends feature. On the other hand, I completely empathize with Blizzard employees, who are more likely to be targeted because of who they are and who they work for.

So while I’m not saying this should go forward and Blizzard employees should be left out and the rest of us forced to comply, I am saying that Blizzard should (and they likely will if the uproar continues) come up with a middle ground where people’s privacy can be protected to at least some degree, instead of taking an all or nothing approach.

We’ll wait and see what turns up in the way of confirm/deny of the rumor, but in the meantime, the controversy is still simmering (especially in this massive thread), and more and more stories like this one are appearing, where people are able to use such limited information like a player’s real name, whatever associated information there is about them, and the powers of Google to dig up a lot of personal detail about them.

UPDATE: According to Blizzard, they’re sticking to their guns and their employees’ real names WILL be used on the forums. From the original post:

According to Nethaera, they’re going to stick with their original plan and have blue posters use their real names. As to why other parts of Blizzard are saying something different ( has verified what other parts of Blizzard has said), it appears they’re having some internal communication issues.

Blizzard Announces Changes to Forums: Real Names to be Displayed

Blizzard announced some sweeping changes in conjunction with its Real ID system today, most notably that they’re changing the official forums for World of Warcraft and all of their other games so that a player’s real name is displayed next to their forum comments when they post to the general forums, class forums, customer and technical support forums, and elsewhere. That’s right – when you post to the forums, your first and last name will appear.

This has already caused some more than significant uproar in the World of Warcraft community, but before we dive into that, here’s the announcement, thanks to

The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic forums, will remain unchanged.

The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences with other players — however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e. Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our forums as well.

Now, if you’ll remember the open letter and passionate piece written by our new author (say hello to her!) Lee Olesky called Real ID and Real Concerns, you’ll see that some of the things she mentioned not only apply here too, but are very relevant.

I’m of two minds of the changes: first of all, and as much as I’ve seen some folks decrying it, this is not a legal matter and this absolutely will decrease the forum trolling that’s rampant on the official forums and has for several years now made people unwilling to use them for anything. The fact that so many forum users would hide behind their level 1 alts to bolster their own points or troll others without having to reveal their level 80 mains is proof that they needed that anonymity to say the things they wanted to say. When they’re stripped of it, as they will be, they won’t troll. That’s just fact.

I know, there are Facebook trolls who use their real names too – I’m not saying it’s the end of trolling on the official forums, but we have to remember that most rational people avoided the forums entirely because it was a cesspool of trolling and nonsense largely, and entire cottage blogs and tools that tracked blue posts only without the fluff of all of the other posts on the forums grew out of the fact that the official forums were all but unusable otherwise.

Forcing a player to have their real name associated with the things they say will definitely force them to watch what they say, or not say anything at all.

At the same time, this does have a chilling effect on people who have legimitate privacy concerns. I’m not talking about privacy concerns of the legal nature – playing World of Warcraft, you are subject to their terms of service. Your full name is not considered “private” information, and if someone requires you use your real name in order to use the service, you have to provide it. Your options in this case, legally, are to either provide your real name, give the service a compelling reason not to (that they will accept or decline,) or not use the service. I know that we’re really hung up on privacy in our Web-connected society (which we should be – there are many very real privacy threats out there) but there’s little legal basis for an opt-in service like World of Warcraft.

This is where the chilling effect comes in. Because Blizzard is well within their rights to do this (even if we don’t all think it’s a good idea – and trust me, I don’t think it’s a good idea…I would have gone for first name last initial or something a little more personal but a little more private as well) I really empathize with people who have stalkers, bullies, or other people on the Web who follow them everywhere they go, keep track of everything they write or say, or people who need anonymity to protect themselves somehow.

People with stalkers, or players with obsessive bosses who’ll search the WoW forums for any evidence that the person posted during work hours, or people who play the game to escape reality, roleplay, or otherwise not be themselves for a moment, will all find this change chilling enough that they’ll likely never use the official forums again. They’ll all be an unfortunate casualty of what are likely good intentions but have gone overboard.

The other likely side effect is that it will drive valid and valuable conversation about the game away from the official forums and to unofficial forums on fansites, like MMO Champion. That can be a boon for those sites, but it’s unfortunate for Blizzard, as they’ll lose some of the capability to shape their message and interact with people who are sharing their opinions and thoughts first-hand.

Like I said, I’m of two minds obviously – I more than empathize with the people who need their anonymity to play the game the way they want to play or keep themselves safe and private, but I also acknowledge that something like this can go a long way to making the official forums much more usable and worth visiting. Regardless of either point, I doubt that Blizzard will retract this move unless the community is really really roiled against them – and I mean people who already use the forums, not just the offended masses who play but don’t use the forums for anything.

What do you think? Do you think the decrease in trolling (if any) is enough reason for Blizz to do this, and if people don’t like it they should just not use the forums? Alternatively, is this the worst idea in the history of World of Warcraft and will likely drive people away from the game entirely? Sound off in the comments!

Real ID and Real Concerns

Note: I started to write this article with an entirely different spin on Real ID and what I think about it, but new information has changed things a bit. Read on to find out what I discovered.

My Friends List

Friend List

One of the features of the recent 3.3.5 patch that I was most looking forward to happened to be the Real ID chat ability. Maybe I was mistaken, but it seems that there is a lot of concern regarding the privacy issues that come along with a feature like Real ID.

Real ID is meant to be a way to chat with players across different realms, across faction, as well as across different games using the system. This is especially important when Starcraft II is released late July and many WoW players will be spreading their time between the two games. I can’t speak for all WoW players, but I know that my boyfriend and I will probably be spending a hefty portion of our free time trying the new Blizzard game.

The concept of Real ID is awesome. It’s something many other types of systems implement in different ways. Steam uses a universal chat system when you’re logged in. The difference with Steam is that you can choose to stay anonymous with regard to what people see. Real ID seems to be lacking in the privacy settings being available to the user to choose.

According to Blizzard’s Real ID FAQ, “Both players must first mutually agree to become Real ID friends.” Basically don’t go willy-nilly giving our your account email address and adding strangers as friends. As a tool, this can be really awesome. It’ll let you keep in touch with people with whom you regularly chat with even if they’re not logged into your game at the moment. If you need help doing something and see a friend online, a simple asking couldn’t hurt. This can easily be abused in wanting to have at your disposal a large group of people available to play games with. The child I’m taking care of has friended everyone and anyone he can on his XBox Live account. This works on XBox Live, where you don’t see any information that you don’t want to share. This definitely is not the case with Real ID.

The “Real ID is a system designed to be used with people you know and trust in real life — friends, co-workers and family”.

I would suggest you heed that bit of advice, because this next bit threw me for a whirlwind! Originally, I was thinking this system was great! A nice way to keep in touch with my Horde friends while I’m playing Alliance. Or with my boyfriend who juggles his time between his 7 (yes, that’s seven) level 80s. But oh ho ho, Miss Medicina let her readers in on a secret (or not so secret since it’s right there in the FAQ) that was not highly publicized about Real ID.

If you are using Real ID, your mutual Real ID friends, as well as their Real ID friends, will be able to see your first and last name (the name registered to the account). You will also be able to see the first and last name of your Real ID friends and their Real ID friends.

Take a minute and reread that. Say this with me now. “Um, wut?!” Now let’s think about this for just a minute. You and I Real ID friend each other. But I also have my boyfriend, a Los Angeles friend, and a local real life friend Real ID-friended. You don’t know these other people. You probably don’t give a crap about these people. But you can see that they’re my friends. Not only that, but you see their real names. Not the online persona that many of us have grown to be associated with. I will always respond to Mailynn (in it’s various different spellings). But now your friends, who are strangers to me, can see my real name. And in turn, google it. Fine. I’m safe. Most of you can google my name now, but you’ll find a whole lot of articles about some older gentleman who’s the CEO of some company in the mid-west and is not even remotely related to me. I’m safe. I’m going to assume that not everyone is as lucky as I am to have an internet twin that gets more attention than you… and is of the opposite gender.

So I Real ID friended someone I know on Horde side. I know personal information about him. I know his girlfriend’s name. I know how many children he has. I know where about he lives. I know who is best friend is. The point is, I consider him a friend, despite only having known him in game. I’m okay with having him friended via Real ID and getting the chance to chat with him whenever I want to. I am not okay with the fact that my boyfriend’s name, my Los Angeles friend’s name and my in town friend’s name will be viewable by my Horde friend. This is overstepping some major boundaries.

At first I thought this was great. I’m going to get those people I love to chat with all the time and friend them! It’s okay, we’re friends!! I didn’t realize that Blizzard opened the door to cyber-stalking to the Nth degree. What changed my mind? I asked my friend Kurn via Facebook to be Real ID friends. She is the reason why I play WoW. I miss our days from Eldre’Thalas. I miss having her as a friend I chatted with regularly. She took her toon to other servers and that’s okay, so did I. Real ID should have been the perfect opportunity for us to keep in touch again.

She very politely told me “No” and the reasons why. She brought to my attention the dangers of Real ID, and not just the overblown perceived dangers. Sharing real life information across the game to people who are not friended is not okay. Do you hear me Blizzard?!??! Make this a feature that can be either a) turned off or b) removed entirely. I am truly missing out on the ability to chat with someone I adore and love because she has privacy concerns. Hell, I now have privacy concerns and may consider removing everyone but the boyfriend just to keep the information sharing to a minimum.

What’s your take on all of this? Are you going to simply ignore all Real ID requests? Do you think I’m making too much out of this? I’m curious to know.

Video: Avatar Days


The beauty of Avatar Days (it’s been making its way around lately) is that it kind of speaks to the point that behind every character moving on a screen that we see when we log in to World of Warcraft is a real person, who has friends and a life off of the computer and likely a family and a real world that they live in.

This came up in conversation with a dear friend of mine when she tried to explain that she only seems to be interesting online. I pointed out to her that she’s pretty damned interesting in person, and that her “persona” online is no less her than her “persona” off the Web – she’s the same person in both places, and I referenced this video, partially because it goes to prove the point that your avatars aren’t some stand-off thing that’s not really you – you put yourself into everything you do, even your forms of entertainment.

Heavy for a silly little video, I know – but hey! I thought it was telling considering the video!

12-Year Old Uses World of Warcraft Skills to Save Sister’s Life

Over at io9 (and a couple of other sources, namely Next Nature, which first reported the story, to my knowledge) I’ve caught wind of an amazing story about a 12-year old boy who used skills he picked up in World of Warcraft to save his sister from a moose that was attacking them.

We so often hear stories of people being killed and video games getting the blame instead of the actual person who committed the crime or their mindset that I think it’s more than worthwhile to highlight a story where some of the tricks that a child picked up in a video game wound up saving his — and his sister’s — life.

Here’s the scoop:

Hans and his sister got into trouble after they had trespassed the territory of the moose during a walk in the forest near their home. When the moose attacked them, Hans knew the first thing he had to do was ‘taunt’ and provoke the animal so that it would leave his sister alone and she could run to safety. ‘Taunting’ is a move one uses in World of Warcraft to get monsters off of the less-well-armored team members.

Once Hans was a target, he remembered another skill he had picked up at level 30 in ‘World of Warcraft’ – he feigned death. The moose lost interest in the inanimate boy and wandered off into the woods. When he was safely alone Hans ran back home to share his tale of video game-inspired survival.

Absolutely incredible. I’ve never been more proud to play a hunter. Now granted, it could have backfired and the child could have died, but from a wilderness and survival perspective? The kid did exactly what you’re supposed to do. This kid wins at life, and is a hero – I just hope he gets word of how far and wide his popularity has spread.

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