Activision Blizzard sold around 2,000 retired Hewlett-Packard p-Class server blades on eBay and donated 100 percent of the proceeds (minus auction expenses) to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which seeks to advance the treatment and prevention of catastrophic diseases in children.
There's nothing really sexy about a server blade, so to make its realms showcase worthy, Activision Blizzard built clear covers with the World of Warcraft logo etched in the middle. Magnets on both sides of the cover hold it in place.
Here's what it looks like without the cover, which pulls away easily. There's really no reason to remove it other than to take pictures or to clean out any dust that might accumulate, though it could be neat to toss a couple of tiny WoW figurines inside.
Seen from another angle. Fun fact: As of 2010, the average number of hours spent playing WoW each week in America is 22.7; work consumes 35 hours, according to OnlineSchools.org.
A closeup of the plexiglass cover and recognizable logo. Another fun fact: Blizzard sold 1,933 copies of WoW per minute for a total of 2.8 million during the first day of its release, according to the same source.
On the left side is a plaque of the realm name along with its exact start and end date. Below that is an inscription that reads:
"Blizzard Entertainment has carefully preserved and archived our retired server blades, releasing only a limited number for a noble cause. To us, this server blade is more than just hardware: within the circuits and hard drive, a world of magic, adventure, and friendship thrived. From fishing in quiet lakes to defeating Arthas in Icecrown Citadel, this blade was home to thousands of immersive experiences across the world of Azeroth and beyond. We thank you for the safekeeping of this important part of history."
Non-original signatures of the WoW team sit at the bottom. Without the plaque and plexiglass cover, this would have made for a rather ugly showpiece, so kudos to Activision Blizzard for spicing things up.
The entire blade is long and heavy, measuring 28 inches (L) x 10.3 inches (H) x 1.7 inches (D) and weighing 18 pounds. This makes mounting it on a wall a bit of challenge, though a solvable problem with multiple solutions starting with a trip to Home Depot.