What Does Red Shirt Guy Look Like 10 Years Later

What Does Red Shirt Guy Look Like 10 Years Later

Written by 

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch


24th Dec 2020 10:10

If you're a World of Warcraft (WoW) old-head, you'll remember the moment in which a passionate fan brought a bold question to the developers at the 2010 Blizzcon WoW lore panel and stunned them with his expert knowledge about their game. Falstad Wildhammer, who had been placed on the council of three hammers according to the novel "World of Warcraft: The Shattering", had erroneously been replaced by Kurdran. Pointing out the inconsistency in front of a filled to the brim exhibition hall and for all of the internet to see, the developers had no answer but to apologise for the situation and promise to get that fixed, smirking away while being awestruck by the question. For the lack of a better description, the internet endearingly took the most recognisable feature of Ian Bates as the term he would be referred to for over a decade now. As the clip went viral, a new internet meme known as "Red Shirt Guy" was born.

Red Shirt Guy Becomes World Famous

If you were playing WoW during that time, there was basically no other topic in general chat than Red Shirt Guy. Smitten by his display of knowledge and passion for the game, the community embraced him wholeheartedly.

As the moment rose to fame, the developers honoured him with an NPC, the "Wildhammer Fact Checker", who still resides in the dwarven capital Ironforge to this day and can be visited in the High Seat area directly next to - you might have guessed it - Falstad Wildhammer, the NPC Red Shirt Guy had managed to save. He's also been incorporated in other Blizzard-related content such as Hearthstone's Comic "Knights of the Frozen Throne" in which he (on page 6) corrects the narrator about another inaccurate fact. As far as the World of Warcraft universe and community is concerned, Red Shirt Guy is Warcraft lore!

What's Red Shirt Guy Doing Now?

Ten years later, Red Shirt Guy is still an avid World of Warcraft fan, posting frequently on his Twitter account about his experiences in Shadowlands and discussing interesting points about the WoW lore. He has also attended every Blizzcon and has asked further questions at the WoW lore panel over the last decade. For the anniversary, GGRecon caught up with Ian Bates to discuss how that moment changed his life, how he is sometimes still recognised, and how he has enjoyed World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

We hope that Red Shirt Guy will stay with the WoW community for another decade. As a patreon of lore accuracy, his duty has yet to end.

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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

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