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Keeping up with the Joneses

Keeping-up-with-the-Joneses-TNInternet, I have a problem. You make me buy things. No, no… don’t argue. You do. Just last night I noticed Belghast slipping through my window and ordering my copy of Diablo 3.  And then folks like this start talking about ArcheAge and Warlords of Draenor – it’s like you have a straw right into my pool of sweet, sweet money. And there was far too little to begin with, I might add.

But seriously, I can’t be alone in this. When other gamers are talking about a title they enjoy, I develop this overwhelming urge to dive in myself and join the conversation. The zeitgeist sweeps me up like some kind of wallet gobbling malcontent. This is a beast that only stops when I’ve given in or white-knuckled it past the popular period when my blogroll goes from a gush to a trickle.

Take Elder Scrolls Online, for example. Now, I played the game in beta. I didn’t get super far, mind you, but I played it enough to get a good idea for how it works and what’s running under the hood. I walked away from beta not particularly impressed or sold on the idea of leasing the game month by month when so many others are available for free*. Now, though? That’s another story.

Have you ever read social media and started to wonder if there was something you missed? That maybe, even after all you know, that maybe you’re the odd one out?

That’s one of the downsides to social media. The conversation goes on without you. I can be okay with that but I don’t really want to be. I’m not crazy, right? I mean, one of the best parts of being an MMO player, in my opinion, is being able to talk about MMOs with other people who like them too. And with networks like Twitter now connecting the community in more profound ways than ever before, it’s not just other bloggers telling me I should like something, it’s a bunch of strangers.

Now, I would content that a stranger’s opinion isn’t really worth a whole lot, at least when compared with my own experience. But one hundred? How about just a handful of really influential  friends whose opinion you respect?

I’m curious, do any of you feel like you need to keep up with the Joneses? I’ve bought many games just to be part of the conversation and, for the most part, I’m happy with that. It’s my job to be informed about these things, after all. I’ll tell you this much, though: that urge certainly makes me wish games like Elder Scrolls were free-to-play.

6 comments

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  1. Pasduil

    This is very true, and not only for games. Recently on a site where I hang out people have been talking about Game of Thrones. While it was always something I was likely to check out “someday”, now I find myself thinking”Hey if I buy this gizmo and subscribe to that service, I could catch up on all the series *now*.”

    In games, I find myself thinking the same about ESO, Landmark and Hearthstone. People who like what I like seem to like those a lot, so maybe I would too. And you feel left out when it seems everyone is talking about some thing and you’re not in that thing.

    But realistically not only is there a money budget, there is also a time budget. I’m not getting the time in on the games / shows / books I’m already into, never mind new ones.
    Pasduil recently posted..Survey: How old is your game PC?

  2. Chris "Syeric" Coke

    That is probably the single biggest thing keeping me from buying into ESO. With the subscription looming, there is a literally a ticking clock over whether I will find value in the game as well. Great point.

  3. Jeromai

    I used to.

    Then I realized I was far happier paying attention to what bits of games made me happy, rather than following where the crowd went.

    They were probably happier too to have me singing the praises of stuff I like and enjoy, rather than nitpicking the current flavor-of-the-month to death. :)
    Jeromai recently posted..GW2: You Get No XP For Running Away

  4. Telwyn

    I have done this in the past with SWTOR for instance, with Rift and most recently with Neverwinter. I’ve managed to resist ESO so far – I’m in the same position as the subscription + box cost is enough to take the shine of the excitement of people’s discussions on FB/guild forums etc.
    Telwyn recently posted..“Easy to play, hard to master”

  5. j3w3l

    I always feel that, i really do and unless I loath a particular title I get rather jealous of other players and bloggers experiences. At the moment I really want to jump into Archeage but that price.. yeeesh. And then there are al the other little games people play as well as look forward too.

    For me it comes down to thinking about time.f i can fit in that new game I probably will
    j3w3l recently posted..ESO: Area and AOE Updates

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