World of Warcraft goes offline to Czech forest

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PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech web developer Vojtech Ruzicka ditched his laptop and urban Prague lifestyle and decamped to the forest dressed as a blue-faced shaman for a “World of Warcraft” reenactment game.

The 26-year-old was one of around 150 people who took part in a two-day live action battle between orcs, elves, knights and other fantasy characters from the online role-playing game that has become a cultural phenomenon since launching in 2004.

Ruzicka designed and made his own fur lined flowing gowns, decorated with skulls.

To complete his costume, he painted his face blue and dyed his beard a glowing orange before taking his place in the forest as the Azeroth fighters defended their planet against the Burning Legion.

“I always forget the real world, it relaxes my mind,” he told Reuters.

The event, which concluded on Sunday at Kamyk nad Vltavou, 70km (40 miles) south of Prague, has been going for 16 years.

Writing by Patrick Johnston in LONDON; Editing by Andrew Heavens