And now for something entirely different…

Hello again my faithful readers (all 2 of you.)

It has been a few days since I have posted anything and for that, I am sorry. Work (my prime time posting environment) has been the cause of much toil and trouble lately. I come to work so I can post on my blog. How dare they make me run around and do stuff!

In order to provide a broader perspective for my blog, I am going to try to mix things up a little. I would hate to get into a rut of talking about nothing but the same few games, over and over. Anyhow…Onwards, into the breach!

 

Now, I am by no means an anthropologist or archaeologist but I thought this story was staggering in its amount of awesomeness. Following is the mind blowing part of the article for me that really put things in perspective.

“Dated at around 9,500BC, these stones are 5,500 years older than the first cities of Mesopotamia, and 7,000 years older than Stonehenge.

Never mind wheels or writing, the people who erected them did not even have pottery or domesticated wheat. They lived in villages. But they were hunters, not farmers.”

9500BC? Wtf? Before people learned how to farm? That’s crazy old. That’s John McCain old (71). This is a truly amazing find for Archeology. Something so old that stretches so far back into the early fabric of our civilization must be a wondrous thing to see. It makes you wonder what else is out there, laying in the dust that gives an even bigger glimpse into our past. 

Now for some MMO philosophy:

 

In the MMO universe, labels are prevalent and for some, a source of much annoyance. “Noob, griefer, Pker,” and “spammer” are just a few but these are all symptomatic of a two greater labels, Hardcore and Casual.

Now this article was very interesting for me because, being a fan of MMO’s, the dynamics interest me. Furthermore, I consider myself somewhat of a moderate in the Hardcore/Casual player spectrum. I am usually a laid back player with few specific goals in mind at any given time. I like to go with the flow of the game and do things as they come to me. While this is the usual case, when in the company of certain people, I can easily spurn myself forward with a hardcore, newfound dedication.

I am in agreement with the author’s classification of hardcore and casual players. A quote:

“As I see it, Casual and Hardcore are both a state of mind, and depend very much on how you approach the game. I would argue that it’s your play style, your approach to the game, and not your play time, that makes you Casual or Hardcore.”

This is an interesting thing for MMO fans to consider. What makes someone hardcore? Can you do hardcore things but remain a casual player?

Before I wrap up talking about this article, I have another quote from the comments section that really hits the nail on the head:

“Seriously, the distinction comes solely from those who consider themselves “hardcore”. These folks look down their noses at anyone who doesn’t exhibit their own dedication (at any level) to the same venue. If you fumble the raid, you don’t know your class or didn’t prep properly — you’re a noob. If you’re asking questions which they themselves have studied with the intensity of an 80 year old librarian, you’re an idiot.

Casual players probably don’t consider themselves casual. They probably don’t consider themselves anything at all, except someone who’s doing something they enjoy.”

This couldn’t be more correct.  Hardcore players are the ones that have started and continued the cycle of noob hate and elitist player communities that are slowly choking many communities of life.

 

This talk of hardcore and casual leads me into this last article:

Taught to Play?

In this article the author talks about what its like for communities within an MMO enviroment to spring up and foster other, newer players into the world. For instance, in EVE Online, a difficult and challenging MMO to say the least, Guilds have sprung up within the game that exist for the sole purpose of teaching other players how the game works. During my short 14-day experience with EVE Online, I joined one of these Guilds and was very, very surprised at the amount of help and attention I recieved. People would talk to me as long as I wanted about the game, the mechanics, the quest or ships. They would readily give me assistance or help me earn money.

This idea is something that is missing within newer MMO’s today. The idea of helping other, newer players out is such a rare experience. When  did everyone get so single minded and focused on their own goals. While not try to foster a community yourself by helping others that you meet? Great things can get started by helping people. I met Keen through this very process. In LotRO, he was a new player in the Ettenmoors that popped in, said hello and began asking questions. It turned into a nice freindship.

  • What has happened that has made this such a rare occurance? How has the dynamic changed?

Maybe in some of these future MMO’s (AoC and WAR) people who feel the same way can band together and form one of these commnities. A friendly community where being a newplayer is ok.

That sounds nice to me.

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~ by bartlebe on April 25, 2008.

One Response to “And now for something entirely different…”

  1. I don’t like labeling people either. I think something magical (oh ok, special) does happen when people help others out. They are themselves inspired to help others out in return. Games can encourage this more but in the end the choice to be selfless is ours alone to make. btw Bartlebe, I put up pictures of my and my brotehrs characters on my blog, soon to be followed by Anton’s chars from wow. 🙂 Since you asked about them thought you might like to know

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