03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

World of Warcraft in Colorado

I play World of Warcraft. Despite the wholly inaccurate stigma associated with the popular online role-playing game -- "favored by basement-dwelling weirdos who abandon their social lives for the game and its elf-eared denizens" -- I love it.

And I'm not alone, though I often feel as though I am when I consider how few Denver/Boulder folks I have found to play with. In truth, I have only met four people who actively play the game. Far more often, when I invariably start talking about orcs and ogres at a tech event, I meet people who used to play but stopped for reasons of life balance, finances or other pursuits.

But that doesn't compute. According to Blizzard, the game's publisher, there are close to 12 million WoW players in the world, more than 3 million of whom reside in the U.S. So among the millions of Americans prancing around the online world of Azeroth, casting fire spells against the undead, there are only five Mile High players? Nonsense.


I think they're hiding. I think they're ashamed to emerge from their undisclosed locations. Why? Because the active lifestyle encouraged and exemplified by our Colorado environs has made WoW peeps feel guilty for spending hours in front of computers, issuing commands to their comrades via headset and microphone instead of being outside.

That's unacceptable. I won't be intimidated by Denver hikers, Boulder runners or any other local outdoorsian. I don't live in anyone's basement. I'm no weirdo. I'm a well-adjusted Latin dynamo.

Yes, I spend hours in front of a computer virtually wielding a sword and shield. It's no different from fantasy football or any other web-enabled pastime. That's why I'm not ashamed to tell thousands of people that I spend some of my nights running around digital forests as an ultra-dangerous warlock.

So let me sound the reveille: If you live in Denver/Boulder and play World of Warcraft, don't be ashamed. Come charging out of the shadows. Cast aside your +35 spellpower cloak and say hello. I'm here for you -- on Earth or Azeroth, in Denver or in Stranglethorn Vale.