Quote of the before the week ends

| Sunday, September 26, 2010
Supposedly the week starts on Sunday. That's silly. So I say it is still last week. Just in time for this quote by Larisa:
In BRD no one says a word - how could you in the span of 20 seconds? Are we even sure that we're actually interacting with real players? For all I know they could as well be computer generated. It doesn't feel a bit like an MMO anymore. It's rather an MSO, if that term even exists? Massively Singleplayer Online game.

It's a bit depressing, but true in some ways.

A while back I took a class called technology and society. One of the ideas we touched upon was the worship of efficiency. We strive for efficiency. We want faster, cheaper, more, now! Somewhere along the way we lose track of why we're being efficient. The purpose is lost in the endless striving for efficiency.

WoW is an extremely efficient game these days. Downtime is the lowest it has ever been. Rewards are faster and more consistent. It is a finely tuned machine. But for what? What does it do efficiently and is that something we really want?

I have a theory that social interaction is a waste of time. Or more accurately, it is caused by a waste of time. You know who invented games? Farmers. These guys work their asses off a few times a year to prepare fields, plant, harvest, and sell. I'm understating it, but between those times, they have what to do? They can't punch a time clock to make the plants grow faster. Weeding, pesticide, and keep the rats away, those won't take up all their time. So they invented games, art, and society. What else is there to do?

We don't read books when we're racing. We read them when we're sitting and waiting. We read for the bus to come and we read for the bus to get to our stop. We read for the doctor to be ready. We read for the rain to stop and we read for the oven to heat up and we read for the bread to bake. And we talk, we whistle, we think.

In WoW we don't read anymore. We don't wait for the flight path and we don't wait for the boat. We don't talk when we're racing.

What does WoW do efficiently and is that something we really want?

I'll be at the bus stop with my book, if you'd like to talk about it.


Dwism said...

ugh I hate it when people talk to me when I'm reading.

Anyways, I think this is the same thing blizzard did at the end of every other expansion: hand out free good'ish gear to everyone who is still running dungeons. two reasons for this... well one.

you are able to get geared up to survive the onslaught of the starting zones, either if you are a slow leveler (or just started playing) or are changing your main for the next expansion.
Personally I'm looking at beta testing DK blogs with great care, and I am considering switching mains. This way i'll be able to gear them up, should I decide to switch.

Does it feel good and fufilling to eat these stale breadcrumbs at the end of an expansion? no. But then again, I was enjoying the meal two years ago, when wrath came out, so it's okay for me.

ardoRic said...

Take "In Praise of Slowness" by Carl Honoré to read. I read it recently, it's a good read, and talks about such issues and how to avoid them (in real life).

You can watch his TED talk about the contents of his book here

Tesh said...

As I noted recently, efficiency is a natural enemy to exploration and experimentation. It's also been noted (I first read it from Raph Koster, I think) that players tend to optimize the fun out of games.

I tend to take things slow because I love exploring. I'll admit that it's nice to have the option to go faster if I'm in a rush, though. I don't like to be constrained to the slow pace... even if I *choose* it a lot of the time.

Anonymous said...

What else is there to do? Get drunk. It's no surprise that farmers took alcohol to a fine art and invented the first drinking game.

Klepsacovic said...

@Dwism: Don't they usually give us a new gear set from the first few quests anyway?

@ardoRic: You made it far too easy to find that and now I will not at all enjoy watching it. :P

@Tesh: This is why I love having an easymode setting on games. If I want to explore and mess around and not feel any rush or push, I can do that without the dreaded "you lose!" screen, while retaining the option of challenge with higher settings.

@Anonymous: And what do people do when they get drunk? Fight, sex, and talk too much.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Competition created games!

Even dogs compete in their own lil games, like who can pull the stick harder. Its something thats been around millions of years before the first farmer ever existed...

Klepsacovic said...

@Anonymous: I should have been more precise: I was thinking of thinking games. Obviously youth invented play and therefore games, but boredom invented chess. Clearly an imperfect treatment. :)

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