Bainbridge @ Convergence of the Real and the Virtual: First Scientific Conf in World of Warcraft May 9-12, 2008
World of Warcraft

This is a formal invitation to participate in a scientific conference held inside World of Warcraft, May 9-11, 2008, devoted to research on WoW and on virtual worlds in general. 

There will be three academic sessions:

1. Research in World of Warcraft.
2. Relationships between WoW and the “Real World.”
3. The Future of Virtual Worlds.

There will be three major field trips, each following one of the formal sessions:

1. A hike from Orgrimmar to Thunder Bluff, stopping half way at the Shrine of the Fallen Warrior, and at a number of other historic sites.
2. An excursion to Grom’gol Base Camp and Booty Bay in Stranglethorn Vale, beginning at Undercity.
3. An attack on an (undisclosed) Alliance location.

Participants will be represented by Horde characters on the Earthen Ring US server.  We will do our best to accommodate participants having low-level characters.  While it will be possible to attend at level 1, level 5 or even 10 will be more comfortable and fun.  So long as the numbers of participants remain manageable, we will provide each new character with some gold, carrying bags, and souvenir clothing. 

To attend, you should immediately get a Horde character onto Earthen Ring US - which is a different server from the European one named Earthen Ring!  You could create a new Horde character, or port one over from another US server (at a cost of $25, but there are no other “travel” costs for this conference!).  In either case, we suggest you prepare your characters right away, to make sure you can do it and become familiar with the environment.  It is possible that publicity about this meeting will fill up the Earthen Ring US server, which already is one of the most active realms.  So, it is crucial to get your character there right away.

European participants may need to do what some have already done, obtain the North American version of WoW from the US, including the discs, install it on a computer that does not already have the European version of Wow, and open a US account.  Of course, North American participants who do not already have WoW will need to do the same thing.  For my own research, I have long run two accounts from separate computers with the same credit card and home address, so this is not unusual.