World of Warcraft player digs out of Chilean quake

Novelty stein survives the damage and gives her hope that her family is also OK

How do people cope when tragedy hits? Some laugh, many cry, some volunteer. And then a few keep doing what they enjoy, like play games. Read on to find out how one woman is coping with the massive earthquake that hit her home country of Chile last weekend ...

When a natural tragedy hits close to home, you can't think of much else other than survival and the well-being of loved ones.

But as people slowly begin to dig out and families are able to reconnect with loved ones in the hardest hit areas, certain things can strike a chord that might make a victim smile, giving them something distracting to think of amid the tragedy and devastation around them.

Such was the case in Chile this past weekend after a devastating earthquake rocked the country, killing more than 700 people. A 33-year-old woman named Karen, who lives in Santiago about 200 miles northeast of the epicenter of the quake, was sifting through shattered ceramics, broken glass and destroyed music cases, worried about her family and friends who were much closer to the quake's origin. But as she started to clean up the mess, she came upon something that made her smile and gave her hope: A World of Warcraft "Blood of the Horde" stein she had recently purchased from the United States. She said that seeing the ceramic mug virtually intact gave her hope that her family was all right.

In an email to the Stein's maker, Taverncraft, only two days after the quake, she thanked them for their product (while apologizing for her broken English):

"But the stein, only the top is a little mess up but everything its fine. I know its stupid but it was like ... a little breath for me ... we joke about it and the stein help us to relax in that moment ...

All i wanna say that you made a good product and little stein give me hope, and have family in Concepcion and the other region that are the most affected for the earthquake and when I see the stein without a scratch for me was like ... yeah maybe my family made it too... that day I couldn't sleep... and only yesterday i have news all my family from the south are alive :)"

We contacted Karen and found out she is an enthusiastic gamer. She was playing Guitar Hero: Metallica with two friends when the first tremors of the quake hit:

"We always have gamers night in my house. At first we don't pay attention because we don't have afraid of little tremor and we are use to it... but when we noted that its was more stronger we start to put all the delicate stuff on the floor... when i hold a glass and that glass broke in my hand... we look each other... and my best friend say "we have to get to the door this is a earthquake" in that moment the lights turn off and I don't know how but we made it to the door ...  the earthquake was  like forever... we see how everything in the street move like paper ..."

She is an avid World of Warcraft player and her best friend was with her the day of the quake. She plays an Orc enhancement shaman named Taoren, although she recently canceled her account to wait for the expansion. But before she quit, she said she was in a regular raiding guild and played 2-4 hours a day Monday through Thursday.

She said that games have helped her and her friends get through the stress of the last few days, especially after she found out that her grandmother, cousins and other family members were all safe.

"Its sound stupid, but like I said in first email (to the company), when we see the stein... complete (only the lid a little mess up) was like "look its ok..." and we laugh a little.. and that give us a little break ... In this week, I only play Starcraft to keep my mind out of all this stuff. Today my best friend come to my house we start to talk and we decide to play this Friday and Saturday on my Xbox360... we are going to play Fifa 2010 and some Left 4 Dead to take out everything ... and try to relax ..."

With all of the destruction in Chile, and images of people still digging out, it is nice to get a positive "feel good" story out of the region.

(Thanks to the folks at Taverncraft for the tip).


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...and more than a little resilience!
# Mar 08 2010 at 1:38 AM Rating: Decent
8 posts
What an amazing story! As mentioned above, its funny what can shine a light for people struck by disaster.

Im going to put Taverncraft on the spot here, and ask, on behalf of the community, to see if they can find a way to repair, or replace, the damaged stein lid.

It would surely be a way to show that the larger gaming community can, and does, care what happens out in the real world.
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# Mar 06 2010 at 11:44 AM Rating: Good
19 posts
Sometimes we can find strength and courage in the strangest of places, and even the smallest of things can give us a glimmer of hope...
Not to mention, that stein now has one **** of a story behind it!
Gnothi Seauton.
Preview of Cataclysm?
# Mar 05 2010 at 10:38 AM Rating: Excellent
799 posts
Sometimes, making light of something is the only way to regain the courage to deal with it.

Now, wouldn't it have been awesome if she had been playing WoW during the pre-events for Cataclysm? Talk about "surround sound, immersive, gaming experience"!
FAQ2.0 wrote:
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Guild: "That Kind of Orc" Server: The Scryers
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