I know I have been playing too much when I rant about MMOs needing an injection of reality. I find responses to my rants interesting, especially the ones telling me that MMOs aren't real and reality ain't fun so stop my whining. I understand this arguement, but it misses some of my key points.
First: Developers have a responsibility to be accurate. If, for instance, bronze doesn't refer to a mixture of tin and copper, then they should use another word. They should show how this stuff is actually found and processed.
Second: Being in combat doesn't make one tougher. If anything, it makes one smarter about avoiding combat. Veteran fighters learn skills that allow them to end fights before they have begun. Combat shouldn't be about who can take the most damage. An attack is either effective or not.
Third: Gear doesn't make one uber and it doesn't care how powerful one is. Armor is just as effective on a cherry as it is a veteran, as long as she knows how to wear it. A rock can be just as lethal as a sword crafted by Paul Chen. I have said it once, and I will say it again: the first rule of combat is that anybody can kill anybody. there is no special dispensation for experience or skill or morality.
Why do I want to see more reality in MMOs? Because I am tired of living in a society that continues to take things for granted. I am tired of people, who have never been in a fight, representing how combat works, how the world, which they haven't really seen works. How many people actually know what a mine or lumber mill looks like? How many of us see the populations enslaved so that we can have our diamond rings and cell phones? How many of us even know from whence our food or electricity comes? We are are all part of a civilization, filled with comforts, that continues to seperate us from how life really works, from the stuff that has true meaning.
These games are about playing heroes, but we really don't know what a hero looks like. In these games they are represented by superhumans in tricked out gear, the blood of thousands of lives on their hands. Am I placing too much on the shoulders of game developers? Sure I am, but I see these virtual worlds as an opportunity to educate us as well as entertain. Reality is fun. Those that disagree might need to be reminded of those times when they received a drink of water when they were thirsty, or a hug when they were distraught. Fun is about overcoming adversity, not about avoiding reality.