Warcraft Identity of Obama's FCC Transition Team Co-Chair Revealed, Analyzed

Earlier on Boing Boing, Cory blogged that President-elect Barack Obama has appointed Net Neutrality advocates and "virtual worlds nuts" Kevin Werbach and Susan Crawford to co-chair his FCC transition team. Okay, so we might know the guy as Kevin Werbach out here in meatspace, but to his Terror Nova Guild buddies, he's better known as Supernovan Jenkins (the first name presumably a reference to Werbach's Supernova tech conference series), and he's a Level 70 Tauren Shaman. Livejournaler Waltermonkey opines on the deeper meaning of Werbach's WoW identity:

What does this tell us about him, as a person, as a gamer, as a government official? I will attempt to translate all the dorkese.


Every player in WoW belongs to one of two warring factions, Alliance or Horde. Werbach is Horde. Children often choose to be Alliance because they perceive them as "the good guys", but students of history (both ours and Azeroth's) recognize that Alliance culture is based on medieval European culture and Horde culture is based on the indigenous cultures that were supplanted by the West.

Werbach is a Tauren (a minotaur), which basically makes him a Native Kalimdorian. The Tauren revere nature, living in wigwams near giant totem poles. As a Shaman (see below), he could also have chosen a troll (blue-skinned Jamaican-like monster) or an orc (green-skinned Klingon-like monster), so there must be something about the cow-man that appeals to his liberal guilt.

Read the whole thing: victory or death! yes we can! (Waltermonkey; thanks Drew Coombs of Project Lore! Recompense of phat lewt, reagents, and pizza await thee.)


  1. The Jenkins in his name is simply a title earned through an achievement system in the game. It really just shows that he has an appreciation for internet culture.

  2. One of his two guilds is “composed primarily of academics and other thinkers who study and write about virtual worlds.”

    That’s pretty cool!

  3. Resto Shaman? I hope he has to take a Psych profile because the man must be a total sadist. Atleast go Ele under the guise of helping out your casters.

  4. so there must be something about the cow-man that appeals to his liberal guilt.

    Or maybe he’s just a furry.

  5. Having walked the same path as Mr. Werbach in my WoW days I feel he is perfectly suited to represent my interests. He knows what it means to be rejected from a party for being a hybird. He knows what it means to fight over loot with almost every other class in the game. He knows what it means to walk the challenging path of the PvP resto shaman (although he is PvE specced at the moment). Most of all though, he knows the deep sadness of a class with no crowd control.

    Hopefully this man will take the same action that I would in his position. Namely: nerf warlocks.

  6. #8 It’s promising to see he plays a Horde character. Primarily children and simpletons play Alliance.

    For the Horde!

  7. #18, i’m neither a child nor a simpleton. FOR THE ALLIANCE!

    anyway, i hope that this info leaking out doesn’t ruin the game for him. he deserves somewhere where he can just play in peace, and now that’s probably been forever altered.

  8. As a fellow tauren resto shaman, I say… fuck yeah!

    The resto shaman has long been the underdog amongst wow healing classes. It takes someone who really loves the class and loves healing to stick with that spec. I’m so proud!

  9. Ok, but want class does Obama play? Druid =)
    Change ( Healing Tree) Nationalized Health Care
    Change (Bear) Look at the market lately?
    Change (Boomkin) Pakistan hiding Osama -Moonfire spam-
    Change (Kitty!) Malia is allergic to doggies

  10. @#15

    Note, the blogger wrote “Jamaican like” monster, not Jamaican looking monster. Quite simply, you fail.


  11. Okay a Tauren is NOT the same thing as a minotaur. Minotaurs have human bodies with bull heads. Tauren are humanoid bovine creatures with tails, hoofs, and furry bodies. This and the above post calling a gnome a dwarf (OMFG) make Boing Boing look extremely ignorant when it comes to gaming.

  12. I need William Gibson to come along and explain to me what this actually MEANS. There are just a few too many layers of virtual irony for me to penetrate.

  13. make Boing Boing look extremely ignorant when it comes to

    locobot – You’re casting more heat than light. What’s your point? Have something to share other than indignant attitude??

  14. MDH – My point, which should be obvious but apparently needs to be spelled out for you, is that Boing Boing purports to be a hi-tech blog which reaches out to the gaming community. When posts are made with incorrect and insulting terminology it makes Boing Boing look bad and alienates the very people they are trying to reach out to. It’s kind of like how you might feel if your grandma asked to use your “google box.” A minotaur is a figure from Greek mythology, a tauren is a similar yet different creature imagined by Blizzard games at some point in the 1990s. A “Dwarf” is an insensitive slur against little people, in a fantasy context they’re called “Dwarves.” Neither of these are the correct label for a video containing a Gnome.

  15. Yeah MDH, I do have a nice troll, he’s a lvl 77 warrior and he’ll take all comers. Let me go ahead and formally throw down the gauntlet and challenge you to an arena match. We can even go 2v2 so one of your guild mates can carry you when you turn fey.

  16. i have to say, locobot’s point is very well founded. the point is, boing boing needs some gamers to write the gaming posts here. or else tidier research before posting gaming-related posts.

    for the record, my 68 human mage would get creamed by his 77 troll warrior. but i am reaching across faction to defend him. who says alliance and horde can’t get along? : D

  17. That’s all very well, but I backed Thrall for President. Barack Obama was considered as a good distant second, but he wasn’t sufficiently the murderous bastard we need to finally bring peace to The Crossroads, which seems to always be under attack. And where is the public outcry, I hear you ask? (I don’t? oh…)

    GM “The Voodoo”

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