A week ago we featured this guy, who cosplayed NWBZPWNER, the loathsome griefer from South Park's seminal "Make Love Not Warcraft" episode of 2006. Then we used him for this week's 'Shop Contest. Then we got in touch. His name is Jarod, and he'll be grading your entries.
Jarod, 33, lives in Southern California, only 12 blocks from the Anaheim Convention Center, in fact. But Jarod wasn't just sexing up his appearance—toilet-seat haircut, mouse-hand brace—to make hardcore World of Warcraft fans swoon at Blizzcon last weekend. No, Jarod truly is one of them.
"I'm a GM of a WoW guild," actually, Jarod says. "Diablo was my first Blizzard game. That thing blew my mind I would play it at the local Brookhurst Hobbies shop whenever the guys would let me. It wasn't until years later I got a PC for myself and then avidly got into Diablo 2. My battletag is actually the name of my Barbarian from Diablo 2." So, guess that and you can find him on Battle.net, NWBZ. Good luck.
About six years ago he got into World of Warcraft and "I've been playing almost everyday since." That makes him eminently qualified to portray "that which has no life," aka NWBZPWNER, the slouching antagonist who repeatedly kills Cartman's, Kyle's and Stan's (and Kenny's!) toons in a hilarious South Park episode that is strikingly conversant in Warcraft lingo. ("He's a goddamn butthole!" Cartman rants, off-mike, to Blizzard customer support.)
"I actually had the idea for awhile," Jarod said of the costume, "maybe about the time tickets went on sale. I've always loved the character. He's hilarious."
Jarod, like me, is a big guy. Unlike me he has a full head of hair. But shaving it and walking around in track pants, a baseball undershirt and glasses wouldn't be enough to communicate the joke at Blizzcon last week. He had to build The Desk, the candy-and-energy-drink littered diorama behind which NWBZPWNER appears throughout the South Park episode as Blizzard desperately smuggles the Sword of a Thousand Truths to Stan, to end this overgrown manchild's tyranny.
The Desk is a total mockup, anchored by the tower, which itself is a hollow cardboard PC case with a fan grate, lights, and other accents to look more real. "It's deceptively light and easy to push and pull, but directing it can be difficult," Jarod said. The Desk has a support pole on desk chair casters to help with that As for the PC on the desk, "I used a USPS box. Not the actual boxes they use to ship, but the box used to house a case of 7 x 7 x 6 mailboxes. I think even NWBZPWNR could lug this around."
How about that awful haircut, though? Jarod has a full head of hair IRL and had to buzz off most of it to get the perfect pattern of male-loser baldness to complete the look. "My old man gives me a little grief over the haircut but it's in good fun," Jarod said. "My mother and her husband are also supportive. They're hellbent on helping me remake the desk to perfect accuracy. My mother hates seeing the haircut however, she makes me wear a ball cap when I visit her."
At Blizzcon, however, Jarod found close to 100 percent support for his getup. "Everyone loved me," he says. Just one asshole challenged Jarod's WoW bonafides, and he quickly shut him down. "Everything else was a constant hug, high five, kind word, etc. I should have never doubted doing this."
Jarod has cosplayed Tetsugyu from Giant Robo: The Animation, Kitanofrom Battle Royale, Changfrom King of Fighters, and Rufus from Street Fighter. "One of the costumes I'm most proud of is doing the antagonist Dr. X from my favorite Metal album, Operation: Mindcrime. My best friend Nathan went as Nikki, the protagonist, and we were both featured in Cosmode for it."
Yet "NWBZPWNR is without a doubt the most well received costume I've done."
In light of that, and with great thanks to Jarod for his good cheer at letting the 'Shop Contest parody him, we've invited him to judge this week's roundup, which will post shortly. If you'd like to get in touch with him, you can follow him on Twitter at AgentTestsugyu, or through this page he's set up on Facebook.
Check out Jarod's picks of this week's Shop Contest finalists, plus his remarks on the top 5 'Shops!