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Marthazon: The 70-Year-Old Grandmom Who Runs A Guild in World of Warcraft

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun


There’s a good chance that if you’re here, on this site, you’re not surprised by the idea of a woman playing video games. But you might be at the least a little impressed by the idea of a seventy-year-old playing World of Warcraft. And you might be more than a little impressed if you found out that she was also running her guild and raiding end game content full time. But that’s Marthazon, profiled yesterday by WoW Insider, level 85 Gnome Mage and guildleader of the Spartans.

Frankly, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Fifty years from now everybody my age is just going to be plugging into MMORPGs twelve hours a day as a low cost, high mental effort, social activity that requires little physical exertion. Well, if we’re not still working.

Marthazon started playing after her gamer daughter, remembering her mom’s love of fantasy fiction, convinced her to give it a try. That was in 2005. Martha whet her appetite for raiding on WoW‘s very first massive dungeon Molten Core, and in 2007 when the GM of her guild decided he couldn’t devote the necessary amount of time to the game anymore, he chose her as his successor. Marthazon lead a full restructuring of the guild founded on a commitment to creating a gaming group that understands that real life comes first (something that requires a lot of day-to-day scheduling), and took over filling the roster for all three regular weeknights of raiding herself.

Here’s a sentence that only WoW players will understand and be interested in: Marthazon’s guild is running 25 mans and occasional 10s (when the roster is less than full); working on Ultraxion in 25s and Spine of Deathwing and Madness in 10s. Martha also wields Dragonwrath.

WoW Insider asked her some questions that got pretty cool responses, like whether the generation gap between her and WoW‘s average player age (about forty years) is ever a problem:

Probably the biggest generation gap I experienced was back when I was around level 40. I should paint in a bit of background first. When I first joined this guild, I was thrilled that so many of the other guildies — the toons — were women. I remember thinking that that held great promise for women being involved in technology. The day came when the guild was running Zul Farrak and one of the players, a female night elf, typed something out in chat that made me say in chat, “That sounds like something a man would say.” The run came to a standstill as the other players took great pains to explain to me (with much leet laughter) that I was the only woman in the guild at that time and why they played female avatars.

They also wanted to know if WoW was her first experience with computers:

Computers have long been a part of my life. My father worked with early computers for the GSA as a data programmer after he retired from the Army in the ’50s, and I’ve always been fascinated by the technology. My last job before retiring was computer tracking a large fleet of commercial trucks and their deliveries. I helped design the in-house program to track the data we needed to maintain, and I acted as the office IT.

When my children were toddlers, we bought a VIC-20 and a handful of text games — you know, the kind where you get a clue like “The bear is sleeping in the clearing. What do you do?” The kids would offer suggestions, and I’d type each suggestion in until we got the right one and the game responded. Two of my children went into computer technology fields.

I’ve been in good guilds, and bad guilds; good raids, and bad raids; good servers, and servers that I never wanted to go back to. Marthazon’s build sounds like one I’d love to be a part of. You can read the whole interview here. Happy hunting, Spartans!

(story and pic from WoW Insider.)

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.