More than 350 retired server blades — the physical manifestations of World of Warcraft's virtual realms — are being auctioned off by Blizzard, which will donate the proceeds to the renowned St Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
Having taken the servers offline, Blizzard is giving them an honorable discharge and offering their parts to collectors and/or those whose characters may have once been bits of data roaming their registers. Each blade comes with a plaque stating the realm name to which it belonged (the blades served the European realms), along with its dates of active duty. Signatures of members of the World of Warcraft are etched on the plaque, along with a memorial to the work the servers did. Bidding starts at $US100.
The auctions began on January 23 and will run until January 30. All of the proceeds go to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, well known for its research into and treatment of childhood cancer and other catastrophic illnesses. The free treatment children receive there is subsidised by donations such as these and the generosity of many other benefactors.