Even as the world continues to turn to and normalize gaming as a respectable hobby, there’s still a lingering stigma of playing online titles as a supremely nerdy thing. Whenever I sense this, I take weird comfort in seeing celebs aligning themselves with MMOs. Sure, sometimes it’s just a gig, but sometimes it’s because these celebs are just as geeky as the rest of us and excited to share their passion.
Today we’re going to look at 10 times that celebs bolstered the good name of MMOs, sometimes in weird ways. Maybe it’s when they agreed to be in a commercial promoting a title, maybe it was when they admitted that they like the loots and levels like the rest of us.
Many people knew Curt Schilling as an MLB world series-caliber pitcher, but fewer realized that the man was hot to trot for MMORPGs. Schilling was so passionate about these games, in fact, that he took his fortune — and then a chunk of Rhode Island’s coffers — and attempted to make his own MMO with Project Copernicus. Hey, whatever happened with that game, anyway? Oh. Oh no.
Speaking of athletes, WWE’s Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey is an avid World of Warcraft player. In fact, she was so outspoken of her love for the game that she secured a place in it as a Human Monk in the Legion expansion. Blizzard then managed to get her to be part of the 15th anniversary video this past fall. If anyone had a problem with that, they did not bring it to Rousey’s face.
Rapper-slash-cannabis consumer Snoop Dog apparently has a soft side for online games. He not only came out in full support of the survival title S.O.S., but he’s got a massive mural from Star Trek Online in his home. We are heading where no one has toked before.
By now, most of you know that XXX himself is a gigantic World of Warcraft fan — and proud of it. He’s been seen playing the game with other celebrities and propping it up in interviews that touch on his gaming hobby. “No console game allows you to invest in a character in the same way that a massively multiplayer game does,” he once told IGN.
He’s not just Hodor from Game of Thrones; Kristian Nairn is also a professional DJ and a pretty passionate gamer. Back in 2016, Blizzard booked him to play the party at BlizzCon, and Nairn said yes because he loved World of Warcraft so much. Fun fact: He also appeared on one of our podcast episodes a while back on Old Massively!
It was one of Massively OP’s weirdest stories of 2016: Martial artist/actor/sometimes cop Steven Seagal started shilling for World of Warships, of all things. Maybe because he was in Under Siege way back when? That was a pretty decent Die Hard rip-off, although about half of the fun was watching Tommy Lee Jones go nuts.
William Shatner, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Vern Troyer, Ozzy Osburne, Chuck Norris, and Mr. T
In 2012, Blizzard sliced off some of its mountain of World of Warcraft money and threw it into a series of short but funny commercials starring a whole bunch of meme-worthy celebrities gushing about the game in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. It was… actually pretty good stuff.
Wherever there is a Megan Fox, there will be a souped-up sports car screaming down a desert highway. Also, apparently, there will be a portal into Black Desert, as evidenced by her commercial last fall for the PlayStation 4 version of the game. Why Fox? Apparently, she’s a big fan of the game and the studio wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to leverage that love into promotion.
Jamie Lee Curtis
It’s one thing to play an MMO and perhaps admit in an interview that you kind of like those online games. It’s another thing to slather yourself with green makeup and full cosplay gear and then strut the red carpet for a Warcraft movie with your equally decked-out son. But that’s just what Jamie Lee Curtis did, all because she’s kind of into the WoW thing.