It’s been nearly a year since Jarod:NWBZPWNR raided the stage at Blizzcon 2013 stealing not only the audience’s heart, but the internet’s as well. As Blizzcon looms ever closer, we caught up with Jarod to see how time has gone since his cosplay Pwn’d the world.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, why don’t we get to know a little about yourself.
Jarod: I’m a 34 year old former Graphics Designer from Orange County currently living in Bakersfield. I am active in various geek communities and activities which include vintage anime, cosplay, and everything Blizzard– most especially World of Warcraft.
For those out there who might not know, could you give a recap on who NWBZPWNR is?
Jarod: Jenkins the Griefer is the player who controls the character NWBZPWNR in the South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft. It’s based off of a Blizzard employee named Joeyray Hall. His name is never revealed in the episode but in the script he was called “NWBZPWNR” or sometimes “Nwbzpwnr” but the distinction is that NWBZPWNR is the name of his world of warcraft character. Most people tend to name him, “That Which Has No Life.”
You were able to walk the stage last year as a walk on, what did you expect then?
Jarod: I expected to be enjoyed, but the reaction was nothing I had anticipated. I felt like the Big Man on Campus.
You blew up after that!
Jarod: I started to realize it when, literally, every few minutes someone would walk by me and say I was all over reddit. Or how much praise everyone showered on me. It was very sweet.
Even netted yourself a trip to BlizzHQ.
Jarod:: Only twice. Once for a tour and once for a quick lunch with some of my friends there.
How was your experience touring the place and meeting developers and community managers?
Jarod: I wish I could stay there a week so I could talk to all of them more, but it was pretty darn cool. I can’t wait to do it again.
You definitely haven’t been sitting pretty with all the attention. With the creation of your fan page, have you received any “hate” or has it been smooth sailing?
Jarod: It’s been amazing. I can’t even believe how warm and kind the people are to me. We encourage and praise each other to do good and be good. I really love that about my page. I don’t bullshit. I legitimately just want to put some good mojo out there. I love that I can make people happy. It’s the best feeling in the world.
You’ve been actively advocating cosplay acceptance before this costume and have also created a facebook group called the Defenders of the [Cosplay] Faith (Dot [C] F), how did that come to be and what is the meaning behind it.
Jarod: I ended up getting a lot of messages and replies from people about how much they said my cosplay inspired them to cosplay. It’s amazing for me to think I empowered people with the courage to do it. And from all of that, and with a conversation with my friend Douggary, I formed a group and page called Defenders of the [Cosplay] Faith.
It’s dedicated to everyone and anyone who wants to participate in cosplay. Future cosplayers, seasoned veterans, photographers, or admirers– all are welcome. The word Cosplay in the title is in brackets for a reason. It’s to denote that the ideals of Dot[C]F is not exclusive to cosplay. It’s a state of mind we should all share and have all the time. Defending others and ourselves from ridicule and intimidation. Being vigilant against all those who hate on others just to get a rise out of them. I envision it as being how we should all live our lives. Just being excellent and defending those who are against those who aren’t.
A bit more on the fun side of things, Blizzcon is right around the corner do you have any plans for the anniversary of NWBZPWNR?
Jarod: Yes. Sad to say, I am somewhat retiring the costume. Or at least the part where I’ll shave my head. So this BlizzCon will be the last time you’ll see me with my hair as such. In fact, on Saturday I plan to make a video of me shaving my head completely to say goodbye.
NWBZPWNR has been a crazy experience for you, but it’s sure to have its ups and downs, lets break it down :
Least favorite part of your costume
Jarod: How cumbersome it is to transport the desk. It takes up most of the room in the back of my SUV. So it makes packing for cons irritating.
Best experience in your costume
Jarod: I think it’s the fact that I’ve met Chris Metzen 8 times since 2008 and each time he doesn’t remember me. But now I know he will when I say “I was the south park guy”
Any kind of Bloopers during construction/walking about.
Jarod: Just the one time when I first met Michele Morrow and she thought one of the Rockstar cans glued to my desk was an actual Rockstar and accidentally ripped it off when she was going for it. I was not pleased at the time, but I was able to put it back on and now we’re pals. Great first-meeting story?
What is your Dream Blizzard Cosplay?
Jarod: Difficult to say. I have quite a few. I think Tyrael would be number one. Followed by my Main Warrior in either T6 or Season 3’s Vengeful Gladiator’s Battlegear. Then my D3 and D2 Barbarian, RONDO. And then probably one of those fat-type demons in D3. Yeah. That would be neat.
One last question: What are you excited for at Blizzcon?
Jarod: Meeting everyone and taking pictures. I’m excited for all of the reveals, as usual, but I am really looking forward to the Cheers feeling– you know, where everybody knows your name. I mostly attend Anime cons and I have friends there I’ve known for years. But I have few friends who actually go with me or that I see at BlizzCon. Now I’ll have the same feeling I get at other cons, but even better.
Want to stay up to date on the happenings of NWBZPWNR? Make sure to check him out on Facebook and to catch him at Blizzcon 2014 (or watch him strut across the stage with the Virtual ticket!)