Still cranky after all these years

Yesterday, I fired up the game I can’t tell you about or I’d have to kill you (there is no testing phase and I am not in it). In all fairness, the client ran pretty well, but it hitched now and then and immediately reminded me of the hitching I used to get in WAR. (No, I’m not talking about what happens when you get harpooned by a Witch Elf.)

I still haven’t logged in to the Murder Night event, though the various writeups are making it sound like good fun, because I don’t know if I can handle the client performance right now. It’s a subtle thing, and I suspect it’s different subtle things for different people, but the last thing I want to be doing is telling myself I should log on to anything. These are games; I pay a monthly sub, so Mythic gets their money whether I log in or not.* It’s entertainment, not gym class — nobody ever tells themselves they really should have a game of Scrabble, or play a bit of Monopoly. (Well, maybe Tipa does, but that’s only because she has weird and frightening voodoo Monopoly pieces.)

I guess we’re no longer just “gamers.” We now have specific game allegiances. A decade ago, if someone played EQ and I played AC, we didn’t come to blows over it even if we each thought our game was clearly superior. These days, if you admit to liking game A it’s akin to saying game B is the biggest pile of garbage ever put out. So, if you’re a game A fan, then you really ought to log in and play it. And love it. And be really LOUD about how much you love it. Blow that horn!

It’s a shame, then, that I’ve always been particularly awful about doing what I ought. The more I ought to do something, the less I want to do it, especially when it has to do with my own spare time. I think WAR has huge potential and is a fun game — I just don’t want to play it right now. And I’m pretty damn tired of having to justify that, too. Can’t we just go back to being gamers, not Game A gamers or Game B gamers, and asking each other if we’re having fun rather than trying to analyse why or what one game does better than another? (I’m not knocking analysis, we’ve done enough of it here. It’s just the direction of said endeavour.)

‘Course given the readership here, I’m probably preaching to the choir (hey you, you’re flat on that A!). But it’s off my chest for now.

* Which is debatably a bad thing for me, but in this case I’m quite happy to support the game without having to be IN the game. Hrm. That’s a possible argument in favour of the subscription model — not one that will please many gamers, I’m sure, but it appeals to me. Maybe not a $15 appeal, especially for something I don’t log in to, but I could see myself paying $5 to a game as a “supporter.” It’ll never fly, so it’s a moot point anyway.

19 thoughts on “Still cranky after all these years

  1. Allegiances have always been there. I still remember the Nintendo vs Sega debates. It is just a lot easier to find people to argue with.

  2. WoW vs. The (MMO) World

    Microsoft vs. Sony

    Nintendo vs. Sega vs. Sony

    Atari vs. Intellivision

    Coke vs. Pepsi

    Chevrolet vs. Ford

    My Dad can beat up Your Dad

    It’s always been around, it’s probably human nature to have a want or need to justify our likes and dislikes. But there’s also the matter of how able an individual is to respect the likes and dislikes of others. Or in the case of the LOUD supporters of A, how unable they are…

  3. And when you mentioned Scrabble, I had this sudden vision of a Scrabble board spelling out apocalyptic messages of doom through its tiles.

    *runs down to Toys R Us*

  4. I recently re-installed Dungeon Siege II. Oh the blood splattery goodness!

    Oh and Rock Band 2 pwns Guitar Hero: World Tour!

    Ok maybe not, but RB2 is yet another game with which I divide my limited ‘entertainment’ time.

    Oh and CoX .. played that last night …

    *sigh*

    And yeah, Johnson checks have become pretty rampant. I’ve a friend who’s a total Apple fanboi. While I find the Mac vs. Apple commercial’s humorous I really want one that runs along these lines:

    Apple: Hey PC, you want to come over and make some video? Edit some clipart? Run some productivity software?

    PC: Wha? Oh, no thanks, I busy playing games.

    OR have a Linux v Apple commercial:

    Linux: What? You finally moved of RISC? Moved over to a UNIX architecture as well? Better late than never I guess …

  5. Is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?

    Anyway, I can’t *believe* you said that about Game B. Game B is brilliant, everyone knows that, anyone who likes Game A smells of festering parrot droppings.

  6. To a certain extent, the inter-game rivalry needs to be taken for what it is… identical to why some people like the Bears, others the Dolphins or the Raiders – why we are disposed to turn out in the tens of thousands in a stadium to see a team play. In the United States, fans don’t usually get TOO far out of hand; but in Europe…there are full-fledged riots. Orcs aren’t modeled after Football/Soccor Hooligans for nuthin’!

    It’s one thing to be sitting on the sidelines, and another to actually be IN the game. Moreover, with MMO’s there is the tendency to invest, firstly a small amount of money, but a huge amount of time. When something one enjoys is ridiculed, there is a tendency to perceive it as a threat to “our entertainment”… and as I tend to bring up frequently, we expect far more out of our entertainment providers than we do our financial advisers, bankers, politicians, etc.

    Many different sides to this issue. What gets me especially riled up is the established pattern of consequences associated with “near monopolies” of industries. We can point to some of this in the software market; but a large portion of the current global financial crisis is the direct consequence of big banks buying up smaller banks. The same kind of threat comes with someone like a Walmart coming into an otherwise small town economy.

    For consumers, it eventually becomes necessary to fight for what you believe is a good product, to preserve your right to a choice. Not everyone feels this way… and that is perfectly fine. I know my perspective tends to go way, way off the center of the field, past the bleachers and past the parking lot…

  7. I can’t argue that the debates have always been there, but I don’t think they always been as vicious as they are these days. Mostly because on anonymity. Back in the days of paid online services (Compuserve, GEnie etc) you really had to stand by what you said because you had an account name or number that everyone knew. If you dropped into an argument and behaved like an ass towards others, people remembered you and shunned you system-wide (at least, if you did it enough).

    These days, you flip the bird at someone using the name “BirdFlipper” then you just create another account if the heat gets to be too much.

  8. I’m a developer for Game C, and we are going to blow Game A and B out of the box. I will start the hype machine now. Look out for Game C in 2012. We’ll have flying cows, and demonic hookers in that game as playable classes. ‘Nuff said.

  9. I think the word people keep missing is “Fanboy”.

    It gave liking something a whole new meaning. Now we can feel ok about Star Trek people becoming unhinged when Star Wars people talk smack about James T. Kirk or when Warhammer fans become obsessed with the MMO version of the game way before its even released to the point of anointing it the next WoW killer, only to discover months later that Mythic has to lay people off because there just wasn’t enough Fanboy’s out there to help feed the families of customer service reps.

    Fanboy is the root of all conflict. Sure, we can disagree about something, but the fanboy takes it to a higher more evolved level. Which is great, because if we really don’t get their argument, we can just dismiss it as the rantings of a crazed fanboy and all seems right again with the world.

  10. I have an EVE account. Actually, might even be two. Not in the EVE mood atm though I don’t think. Contrary to many, I miss not having a non-ship avatar — maybe when they finally get around to putting that in. 😉

  11. Good point! And also, people who are monogamers react badly to ‘game hoppers’ who switch what they play a lot.

    I’m the same about WAR, my sub is still active, I think it’s a good game. Just … I don’t feel like playing it right now.

  12. *mustn’t make political allusions, or reference “divide and conquer”*

    OK, so sneaky asterisk spotter speaking: That sort of “I support you because you’re freaking awesome” is why I gave Three Rings $10 for doubloons. I could have acquired those doubloons by purchasing them on the exchange from other players (paying for them with my hard-earned in-game currency), but I ponied up the cash because I wanted to make a statement, albeit a small one, that I appreciated their game and their business model.

    The option is there for such appreciation, it’s just part of the dreaded microtransaction system. 😉

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