Growing up as a small town boy in Eastern Washington State, I had
aspirations of becoming a professional football player. It was a fun
dream, and it certainly wasn't for lack of trying on my part. However,
some things in life aren't meant to be, and my dream of NFL glory hit a
wall when I couldn't grow any taller than six feet and two inches.
Instead, I've become something of a professional game player, and
although I make nowhere near as much money as I would in the NFL, its
been a career that's almost as exciting.
Minnesota Vikings' Punter and WoW Player
However, there are a few individuals that are in an opposite position;
there are men and women in professional sports that have a true
passion for video games. We've heard of many of them and talked with
arguably the biggest of them all ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/20340" target="_blank">Curt
Schilling), but the internet has
been abuzz lately with the infamous story of the NFL punter that was
going to href="http://kotaku.com/5120697/vikings-punter-considers-changing-his-name-to-world-of-warcraft"
target="_blank">change his name to Chris 'Warcraft'.
The fact that the story has amassed so much attention is intriguing.
There have been so many non-gamers that have approached me and the Ten
Ton Hammer staff about this piece of news that we decided to track
down Chris "Warcraft" and find out more about his story.
It turns out that Chris "Warcraft" is actually better known as Chris
Kluwe, a 27-year-old, record-breaking punter that plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
A quick Google search of Chris' name returns a whole list of articles
talking about punting and video games, along with his stats that
establish him as one of the premiere punters in the NFL. On
top of all this Chris is a long time player of massively
multiplayer online games. According to Chris, he got his start in
gaming when he split his toe open at a friends birthday party at
Seaworld and was subsequently laid up for a few weeks. To keep him
entertained, his parents nabbed him a Nintendo Entertainment System and
the rest is history.
are set to become the new hot class. Take that DKs!
Concerning MMOs, Chris was first involved in the genre when his high
school friend asked him to help install href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/154"
took us a couple hours to get it installed and running," Chris said.
"But we finally got it working." After they successfully loaded the
game onto the system, Chris said that he was hooked. Even after so many
years (and so much target="_blank">World
of Warcraft), he still contends that style="font-style: italic;">Ultima Online is
his favorite game.
"Everything was just so open," Chris said. "You could advance the
skills that you wanted without having to worry about classes. The PvP
seemed to be better balanced than today's games. The world was so open,
and you could buy and own a house. Even though I really enjoy the level
of polish that is in World of Warcraft, there was just something
different about Ultima
Since that time, Chris has definitely played his fair share of online
games, including href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/38"
Age of Camelot, style="font-style: italic;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/209"
target="_blank">Asheron's Call, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aoc" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">Age of Conan
name a few. However, his attention is obviously fixed on style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft.
Since there's so much attention placed on his quote about becoming
Chris "Warcraft", I wondered just how much time Chris spent a day on
"I play about five or six hours a day," Chris said. "I actually just
bought a laptop so I could get my fishing and non-combat achievements done
while I'm not at home."
And he isn't joking about the hours. Recently, Chris received
the "Loremaster" achievement, which bestows the title aforementioned title on his character. This also means that Chris' character has completed
thousands upon thousands of quests. This guy obviously doesn't joke
raiding with his daughter.
For his main avatar, Chris plays a Troll Rogue [
style="font-style: italic;">Editor's Note: Glory to the
Horde!] that he's been using since the very beginning of
his online experience. "I don't make a lot of alts," Chris said. "I
like to just do everything on my one toon. I'm a completionist, and
that worked out well when the achievement system got put in."
On top of all the quests, Chris is a pretty avid raider, and his guild
is now actively farming Sartharion. Chris explained that his schedule
actually works out pretty well for all the WoW that he plays. "My
practice pretty much consists of punting the ball for 45 minutes a
day," he said. "I don't have to watch much film like the other guys on
the team. When I go home I spend as much time with my family and my new
baby girl as I can, then when she goes to sleep I get online and raid."
When I asked Chris about his thoughts on the new expansion, he pretty
much had the same ideas that the entire internet is gnashing its teeth
about. "It's easy mode right now," Chris said. "I honestly can't wait
until they put in Utgarde Keep or whichever raid they come up with
next, because Blizzard needs to up the difficulty a little bit."
For the most part, Chris is incredibly open about his gaming to his
teammates and the general public. "My teammates come up to me pretty
regularly asking for video game advice," he said. "There's a bunch of
gamers on the team, just not a whole lot of MMO players. It's a
different sort of time commitment." And it was really his teammates who
originally thought of the name "Chris ' style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft'"
which was eventually shortened to just Chris Warcraft.
While the joke about changing his name has made Chris famous among the
internet community, he is just another example of how online gaming
continues to put every gamer around the world on equal footing. Chris
loves WoW, just like the rest of us. We plan on following Chris'
progress with the Minnesota Vikings, and don't be afraid to ask him any
questions in our forums. He certainly reads everything about WoW that
he can, so he may just pop in and answer a few of your thoughts!