Make Love, Not Warcraft
|"Make Love, Not Warcraft"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Featured music||"Live to Win"
by Paul Stanley
|Original air date||October 4, 2006|
"Make Love, Not Warcraft" is the eighth episode of the tenth season of the animated television series South Park, and the 147th episode overall. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on October 4, 2006. In the episode, Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny enjoy playing the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft. When a high level player goes around killing other players in the game, they start playing WoW every day to try to stop him.
The episode was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker.
A griefer repeatedly kills Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny's characters in the online game World of Warcraft. The griefer is depicted as a silent, obese adult player who "has absolutely no life." According to the in-episode Blizzard Entertainment staff, the griefer is said to have been playing the game nearly every hour of every day for a year and a half since the game was released. Due to this, his character has reached a level that was previously thought unreachable, allowing him to disobey Blizzard Entertainment's rules and kill players, Game Masters and even Administrators at will. Stan's father, Randy, becomes interested in the game, but does not survive long before being killed by the griefer.
Cartman gathers all the boys of South Park and convinces them all to log in at the same time in order to execute a massive retaliatory attack on the griefer. However, once the battle begins, the griefer summons giant scorpions and easily dispatches the boys' characters, while Clyde ignores the battle to look at a Playboy magazine. Afterwards, the defeated players give up and find other interests. The executives at Blizzard come to realize that many players will soon become too frustrated from being killed every time they log on, and will stop playing altogether, which would very well cause "the end of the World ... of Warcraft." However, Cartman is not ready to give up, and convinces Stan, Kyle, and Kenny to keep playing. For the next two months, the boys play the game for 21 hours a day, killing low-level boars in the game's forests to gain experience points (in a montage set to Paul Stanley's "Live to Win"), and hiding from the griefer. In the process, the boys become lazy, long-haired, obese and acne-ridden. During this period, they also consume mainly Hot Pockets, Rockstar energy drinks and Ramen noodles and develop large internet vocabularies, using terms such as "über" and "pwned" and "r-tard" in daily conversation. The boys' characters grow so quickly that the Blizzard executives take notice, realizing that the boys have no personal lives at all. They see this as a chance to stop the griefer since he will end Warcraft's popularity if he is not stopped. However, they calculate that even with the amazing rise in their levels, the boys still have a 90% chance of failure.
Determined to help the boys slay the evil griefer, the executives decide to give the boys the Sword of a Thousand Truths, a weapon so powerful that it was removed from the game. It was stored on a 1 GB USB flash drive as "Salzman from Accounting" foretold that it would eventually be put to use at a time of great need. Unaware of the plan however, the boys have already initiated what becomes a seventeen-hour battle against the griefer, which the executives predict to be unsuccessful without the aid of the powerful sword. The executives arrive at Stan's house with the flash drive, unaware that the boys are actually at Cartman's house. Randy tells the executives that although he is a "n00b", he can log in with the sword and give it to the boys' characters online. The executives eventually, though reluctantly, give Randy the sword, initially stating that "We can't trust the Sword of a Thousand Truths to a n00b!" Eventually logging onto a Warcraft demo at a Best Buy, Randy gives Stan the weapon, but Randy's character is mortally wounded by the griefer in the process. Angered, Stan attacks the griefer with the sword, draining away all the griefer's Mana and taking down his shield and armor spells. Kyle and Kenny attack, knocking the griefer to his knees. Cartman approaches him, saying "looks like you're about to get pwned", and proceeds to smash the griefer's head with a hammer. The griefer back home is stunned that his character has finally died.
Numerous World of Warcraft players come out of hiding and celebrate the griefer's demise, praising the boys as heroes. Stan asks what they will do next, prompting Cartman to respond "What do you mean? Now we can finally play the game", and they continue to play in the same way.
The episode uses machinima in many of its scenes to create a better emulation of the game. It was originally scheduled to air as episode #145, but was later delayed because of difficulties in creating the machinima.
South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone collaborated with Blizzard Entertainment to craft the machinima used in the episode. They stated in their commentary for the episode they were completely shocked that the company was on board to help them out. The machinima scenes were created using shots of the in-game footage, and re-creation of the characters in Maya, with Blizzard Entertainment providing their own character models and computers to test with. Blizzard also gave the producers permission to use the alpha server of the expansion pack World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade on which to shoot the scenes. Michael Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, issued a statement over the collaboration:
"We were excited to hear that the creators of South Park were interested in featuring World of Warcraft in the opening of their new season, and we really enjoyed collaborating with them to make this happen. We're looking forward to sharing the experience with our employees and our players as well when the season debuts this week."
As a reference to the episode, certain South Park Season 10 DVDs include a 14-day free trial for World of Warcraft. This did not affect the UK release of this season in 2009.
Since the airing of the episode, the fictitious Sword of a Thousand Truths was featured in the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade beta test as a reward to the game's arena system, although it did not have the same capabilities as in the show. The in-game caption read "Finely crafted to Salzman's specification." The game's second expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King', included an item "Slayer of the Lifeless" as a reference to the line "How do you kill that which has no life?" from the episode. This item's flavor text is "As foretold by Salzman". It is still obtainable in the game.
Although the planning of the episode and data-collecting began on September 1, 2006, the actual production of the machinima was done in five "shooting" days, the first being September 20, 2006, which lasted about 3–5 hours, and the last being October 3, 2006. The regular South Park animation was created simultaneously, with all the other non-machinima episodes of the series routinely finishing within 12 hours of their airing as well.
Parker was deeply unhappy with the episode in the day preceding its broadcast, remarking to the show's producers that "I've lost it. I don’t know how to do this anymore." He begged executive producer Anne Garefino to call Comedy Central and inform them that the show would not air, remarking, "I don’t want the South Park legacy to be ruined, and this show is going to ruin it, because it’s so bad." Parker went home unable to sleep and was surprised the following day that the episode was so well received.
In patch 3.0.2, preceding the release of the World of Warcraft expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard included a "Make Love, Not Warcraft" PvP achievement, gained by using the "hug" emote on a dead enemy before they release their spirit. The fictitious video game played by Butters, Hello Kitty: Island Adventure, was referenced in a 2008 April Fools Day joke by the actual MMORPG Hello Kitty Online, announcing an "Island Adventure" expansion for the game, boasting a reduction of content rather than an "expansion", leaving players stranded on a tropical island.
Also, in the Wrath of the Lich King remake of the Naxxramas raid instance, a sword called Slayer of the Lifeless was added, bearing the flavour text "Foretold by Salzman", as a reference to Salzman from accounting and a weapon capable of killing that which has no life. The model of the weapon is the same as the one used for the Sword of a Thousand Truths.
The episode received critical acclaim. "Make Love, Not Warcraft" is generally regarded as one of the best South Park episodes.
The original television airing of the episode drew 3.4 million viewers, most between the ages of 18 and 49. This popularity made the episode Comedy Central's highest-rated midseason premiere since the year 2000. However, the highest ratings for the tenth season belong to the season's premiere, "The Return of Chef", which drew more than 3.5 million viewers.
In 2007, this episode won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour).
Fans voted the episode into 1st place in a major 2011 South Park voting held under the "Year of the Fan" iTunes promotion.
The obese, unkempt, middle-aged antagonist known as 'Jenkins the Griefer' featured in the episode became an instant cultural symbol for hardcore gamers, internet addicts, keyboard warriors, and 'nerdy' people in general.
When this episode airs on Comedy Central before 9PM EST in reruns, the scene where Eric Cartman defecates into the pan that his mother brought down to him to use as a toilet was edited. It was edited to show Stan using his computer over the sounds of Cartman defecating into the pan. This was done to edit the episode down to a TV-14 rating along with many other South Park episodes from seasons one through ten.
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- Jenkins the Griefer Meme
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