World Of Warcraft Classic has been running for 30 minutes and there are Minotaurs everywhere. I’m standing in the Tauren starting region of Mulgore, and the area around me contains more beef than a guild forum. Bull-shaped adventurers, as far as the eye can see, are racing each other to the one ostrich-like enemy in reach, as the bird’s respawn rate fails entirely to keep up with the flood of people spawning in. But the chat is excitable, happy, even constructive.
In this first half-hour a group of us wish a player happy birthday, we share mid-2000s pop culture references, and we say “aww” at a player who ran her character from an entirely different starting area to this one (a huge undertaking) so she could play with her spouse. A player whispers thanks to me as I share a macro that will help them target a creature without needing to see it. The atmosphere is one of adults being set loose in their childhood playground, responsibilities a remote concern.