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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.

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