80,000 Words (with Director’s Commentary)

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This is a perk that I wasn't using at the time I did the tour but that has now become a twice-a-week lunchtime habit (hmm, I think I know a way to make some money off a bet).

I had a number of people ask me why there are kids in the dojo. Also, I get asked why we even have a dojo. The answer to question one is that these are kids from the daycare. The dojo is a large matted room, so it's a great place for the little ones to run around indoors. As such, the daycare uses it quite often.

As to why we have a dojo, it was the pet perk of a high-level employee who has long since left Wizards. But as we had all the components, when we moved across the street, we took it with us.

Of all the features I show off, this is the one that probably gets the most use. One of the odd quirks of our building is that there are no restaurants in easy walking distance. This means if you are without a car or time to travel, B.J.'s (the name of the coffee stand) is the only real option. In the last two years, B.J.'s has also started to offer much more food. I haven't had it yet, but there's now pizza available.

This was the perk I made the most use out of. While all three of my kids have moved on, Rachel, Adam, and Sarah clocked a lot of time at Bright Horizons. Whenever I see one of the teachers, they always ask me how the kids are doing.

I really wish more people had the option of having their daycare at their work. It was so nice to be able to drop in for special events or just be there at the drop of a hat if I was needed. (I was called down once to remove an inch-long piece of foam from Rachel's nose.)

In the old building, reception was on the first floor (in the South building—the four buildings were all named after compass directions). In our new digs, you have to venture up to the fourth floor. Now if I could only stop calling it South Reception ....

There are three elevators, by the way: two normal-sized and one giant-sized freight elevator. My twins always referred to them as the "alligators." I didn't even realize what they meant until one day Sarah informed someone that her Daddy takes the alligator to work.

I chose to start the tour of Wizards proper on the fourth floor because that's where guests always start. Also, I thought the lobby looked cool. Well, cooler than the average corporate lobby. The elements of the next two pictures can both be seen in the background of this picture. Notice the "welcome" on the floor and the dragon off to the left.

In the background, by the way, you can see where we shot the video for the Shadowmoor learn how to play videos.

This is also the first point in the tour where I didn't use a picture I took. I knew I wanted the column to be called something-thousand words so that meant I needed to have an increment of ten. This meant that I needed to shave off a few pictures that didn't do anything. I am going to show you all the photos that weren't used as this is the kind of bonus features one expects to get with the two disc DVD.

Click here to see the first picture I took of the Fourth Floor lobby.

I cut this picture simply because I felt the other picture was both more dynamic and did a better job of introducing you to the lobby. This picture is taken as a straight-ahead shot right after I got off the elevator. If you turn left from there, you see the scene of the picture that was just replaced. The art behind me is an original piece of fantasy art used for a Dungeons & Dragon product. The artist? None other than Magic's own Matt Cavotta.

I really wanted to have a light tone to the tour, so I had a couple of shots like this. This shot actually took a little while because we had to wait for people to get out of the shot. Luckily it was lunch and so less busy than normal.

Let me start by saying, yes this is Shivan Dragon. It was originally created to hang in the very first Wizards of the Coast Tournament Center. Back in the day, Wizards tried getting into the retail business and the Tournament Center was our first big outing of the idea. The 1997 World Championships were held there. (The 1996 World Championships were held at the old building.)

Anyway, the Shivan Dragon was made for the Tournament Center. When it closed, the statue was moved to our corporate headquarters. There's actually a cool Magic Arcana about us moving it across the street. This is the first of a number of photos that prove that I suck at displaying facial emotions. That's supposed to be fear. By the way, if you can't tell, the Shivan Dragon is hung from the ceiling so it hangs in the air.

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