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Remembering Fun

Positivity means rainbow ponies!

I decided to go back to World of Warcraft.

Just kidding! But that does make a good first line to a return post, doesn’t it?

Since the last time I posted on this blog, something I intend to rectify beginning now, I’ve spent a good amount of time considering our attitudes as gamers. Now, we’re as varied as the ocean is deep, so this isn’t meant to be a wholesale generalization, but I think we get into ourselves into cycles of negativity that are downright poisonous in the name of feedback. Writing for MMORPG has shown me that in the comments section. Reading some blogs reinforces it. There’s no question that we love this genre, so why do so many people insist on tearing it down?

Writing about what we don’t like is easy. We’ve all done it at some point or another. When a developer crosses that red line and barbecues your favorite game, we’re hurt and need to vent. No harm done. I notice that a lot of us, though, especially the ones who have been around a while, tend to be extremely critical. 30 days after launch and 200 hours later the game is “out” of content? My gosh, it’s almost like these games take time to develop!  Or how about these developers putting patches in for the other guy? I’m waiting on my raid/battleground/hotfix people! Bananas.

My question is this: if you’re always posting in the negative why are you still around? These games are actually pretty cool!

I had a conversation with a friend about World of Warcraft. Now, this is a girl with multiple max level characters and a /played over 1500 hours. She told me how the game was wrecked, how Blizzard had destroyed it, and precisely how bad of a game it really was. Since she left WoW, that’s been the theme for every MMO to follow. After spending dozens, if not hundreds of hours playing the thing. I don’t get that people! Not one bit.  And not to offend this fair dame, but I’d say you lose the right to call a game bad after its entertained you for 100 hours. Or 1000. If we go by sheer hours, WoW might be the most entertaining game ever made. Tell that to Mr. Darkfall.

rage-face-comic

We have a tendency to squeeze ideas so tight that we forget to have fun. We focus on what should be, what could be, and what was. We ignore that the old games we talk about still exist and are no longer good enough for us. Games like Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and EverQuest have received “modernizing” patches, but come on, is anyone really going back there to play? But you know, many of us have our roots there. Fun, joyous roots many of us wouldn’t trade for the world.

I’ll be honest, how I played MMOs has changed drastically over the last two years. I even wondered if they were for me for a while. But I also squeeze ideas, like the potential of connected worlds. I love that this community is passionate and that so many people present themselves with intelligence, wit, and charm. You guys are stinkin’ awesome. I even like theorycrafting and armchair design. The epic journey of progressing through an MMO has been a metaphor for my being a part of this community. I can’t see souring or looking back on this genre as anything other than a foothold for my online life and a place to share with friends.

As a return post, what I really want to share is this: this is an incredible genre with a lot to love. That’s why we’re here. Trolling people with blog posts and inflammatory comments really just highlights how out of touch you’ve become. It’s great to talk about the problems and postulate on how the latest games are being designed but I really want to remember what it is that brings us all here. Fun. Not the serious business of gaming. The world will not implode if Star Citizen or Wildstar fail, I promise, and we will have something awesome here.

We’re good apples. We have a good core. One that has provided thousands of hours of enjoyment. How can anyone say that’s bad?

It’s good to be back.

3 comments

1 ping

  1. j3w3l

    I don’t think there is anything too wrong with wanting our games to be better. Every game can be improved in some way and it’s good to share these comments so our genre can continue to improve. Thinking of these things, rather than making me depressed actually gives me hope for those games as well as for future ones. In t=a genre that is remarkably stagnant I think this hope can be a very important factor.

    I understand what you say though, I’ve been there and forums going there regularly. Negativity can be a slippery slope.

    the word fun also irks me immensely. Many of my favourite moments in gaming this year weren’t brought out of fun; I cried during a few, tested my nerves, and even become extremely frustrated but I enjoyed them and will never forget those moments.
    j3w3l recently posted..Girls, Guys and the Legitimacy of Games

  2. Chris

    Thanks for the comment, Jewel! I agree with you. Conversations and discussion are important things. There are some people who just seem intent on sucking the fun out of it for others though (in the context of discussion). Fun in game terms is a different beast. It comes in so many different flavors, including getting to the end of a long uphill climb. Delayed gratification can be really powerful but the word fun doesn’t seem to really capture that part of it. What I really mean is the joy of these games in whatever ways we find it, even if that’s in holding memories that weren’t very joyful at the time.

  3. Isey

    Nice post =)

    I used find myself apologizing when I (always inevitably) ended up back in WoW. Heck, it was a really fun game. It still is! It’s not always for me (the move to even MORE daily quest grinds in Mists made me unsub) but hey, they are pulling out dailies in the next expansion. I’ll go back and try it.

    So I won’t apologize anymore but I will still write about things in games I think can be better and I even may be a bit snarly about it sometimes. I will, however, be a bit more mindful about giving credit where credit is due =)

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