I’m not exactly the person who will walk straight up to you and make conversation. I never have been.
I will smile politely at people and even say a quick, quiet “hi” if I pass you on the street. I’m not unfriendly. I’m just unlikely to actually make conversation.
It turns out that can change if you end up carrying a conversation-starter around everywhere you go.
It all started when I decided that I needed a credit card to have as a backup. I had had my debit card number stolen and given the experience of living from cash and realizing how many things you might need a credit card for if things go wrong. I hadn’t had the best luck getting one in the past, so I decided to try on a whim to get the one backed by Blizzard Entertainment. I’d gain rewards that I could use for in-game merchandise. It seemed like a great solution, especially if I got the card.
Sure enough, I did get the card. It had the World of Warcraft logo emblazoned on the front. I had hoped to get rewards to use to pay for my subscription, but most of it was in-game pets and mounts, and I decided to save up points for something else.
Yet, the logo on the card was an excuse to talk to people that I’d never had before.
There’s something about playing World of Warcraft that gets people talking to each other. Most people don’t openly talk about playing to the people around them. Whether it’s “taboo” or not is debatable, as the comments on this post point out, but it is generally not something you bring up right away that it’s one of your hobbies. When you’re handing your credit card to someone so they can swipe it, and the logo is right there between their fingertips – the conversation generally starts.
In the short time I had this card, I was amazed at how many people would do a double-take when looking at it, and say, “Awesome card!” or, “Oh, do you play?” or “Wow, I’ve never seen a card like this before!”. It garnered curiosity, or camaraderie in several instances where I used it.
One day I realized I was basically a walking nerd advertisement when I stood in line at Jamba Juice with my League of Legends lanyard around my neck, handing my World of Warcraft credit card to a cashier named Garen. It was a fun moment, to say the least.
It was a sad day last week when I got the call that my credit card number had been stolen, and I needed to close the account. It was even sadder because as I cut up the card with the Warcraft logo on it, I knew my new one would not be the same. Blizzard pulled their sponsorship of the card a few months ago, so my card was one of the few left that sported the WoW name.
From now on, my card will just be a regular credit card, and it will not garner second glances, smiles, and questions. But that’s okay: it was definitely fun while it lasted.