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MMO Money Magazine

Writings on the business of fun: Virtual Worlds and Real Money Makes Online Gaming a Big Business. My economic view on the world of online games - without the hype.

Author: Inktomi

This is your life on gaming...Any questions?

Posted by Inktomi Monday June 18 2012 at 10:25PM
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Very stirring flagship post for your new column Pokket. I have been seeing you around and have been quite impressed with your work. Maybe it’s just good timing, or a co-inky-dink, but your article couldn’t come across my chrome at a better time. This is my response that I felt wouldn’t have done justice in the forums.

I have been gaming for a long time, longer than I would like to say and it seems odd when I tell someone how old I am and how far I go back.

At six-years-old my first video game I ever played was Pong. At eight-years-old I got my first Atari 2600 and a ton of cartridges. My first role playing game was Adventure. My favorite game was Pitfall, got it on “release day.” I was a  twelve-years-old video game addict that in todays standards could be seen as normal. I had my Atari confiscated on numerous occasions to force me go outside and play with my friends who just wanted to come to my house and play Atari.

What followed that could be seen in any video game museum. Donkey Kong, Pac-man, Street Fighter, Dragon’s Lair....I took my red pill at a cab stand in Brooklyn named Blue Lane Taxi. I spent every cent of my lunch money there every day and my mother couldn’t figure why I would come home starving. She thought the kids at school were stealing my lunch money. I just couldn’t get enough money to play video games. I started working a newspaper route to get more money to buy more cartridges.

At 11 I had wanted the Commodore-64 because some of my friends had them. They had these cool “floppy” discs and would share games back and forth by copying these cool games. My parents couldn’t afford the Commodore, but instead they got me a TRS-80 for christmas with a game called “Dungeons of Daggorath.” It had to be the happiest day of my life, that video of that kid screaming because he got a super-nintendo holds nothing to me losing my voice that day.

I am 13 and had finally finished “Madness and the Minotaur.” It was the first text-based game I played and was so hard I had to write to the company for some hints, who were very obliging and sent me back some typewritten pages of a guide. They told me only to use them if I was desperate for a hint.

Fast forward....

I am now 25 and manage two Funcoland stores in New York. Funcoland’s were what Gamestop has become, a place that sold used and new video games that let you try before you buy. I had a Playstation that played japanese imports. I was one of the most popular managers in the area because I have played almost every game in the store, owned every system and have been told I don’t look like a guy who plays video games. For whatever that means.

I eventually left Funco for Wall Street and had been making enough money to buy every single game I had ever wanted. I bought a Dell to play Quake online. When I got Final Fantasy XI with the hard drive for the PS2 I had stumbled onto something that would make the biggest difference in my life. I had taken the red pill, then ate the cake, washed it down a virtual Jolt Cola and never looked back.

Fast forward again.
I am fourty-one-years old. The time is 6 am and the Dragon Soul raid has finally ended, bleary-eyed and my girlfriend who is the guild leader as well as the raid leader has finally gone to bed. I need to “wake up” for work in 2 hours. My vision is blurry and need some sleep, but there is a chance I might not wake up and be late for work...again.

I needed a change, like you, I had everyone and their mother in my ear telling me that my life is unmanageable. I am out of whack, throwing my life away. But it is so much fun was my response. Eventually, I discovered that the World of Warcraft was more important to my girlfriend than I was. I have been out of work (surprised) and going to school at night trying to get my degree that I didn’t get when I was let’s say...22, I was struggling.

This is where I pulled the plug. I left the girl, quit WoW, uninstalled it and took the next four weeks away from my computer and consoles. In that 12 weeks I found a new job, got a promotion, met my current girlfriend who never ever played video games and got reconnected with local friends that reminded me how much they liked hanging out with me. I was having a great time. I finished the semester with straight A’s.


Current day.

I just don’t have the time to play as much as I would like to. I made it into The Secret World Beta test 3 and had maybe a whopping 4 hours to play this weekend. I was a little sad but still had a great time with some family visiting from out of town for a family birthday party. After  showing TSW to my lady who was pretty impressed with the graphics and that fact that it almost looked like a movie. She lost interest in about 10 minutes going to bed wondering how I could play that for hours straight.

I seek balance in my life between video games and my ever expanding laundry list of responsibilities. How do you find balance? Don’t put all of the eggs in one basket. It’s hard when you don’t have the foresight to see what time really means to you. But time spent as a resource makes it more valuable. There are only so many hours in a day, how to spend them wisely? Balancing between my inner child and the outer adult is knowing when to listen to the demands of the man, but still find time time to take care of the little boy.

Nowadays, I don’t mind taking a trip down the rabbit hole every now and then, I just don’t have to live there. I am slowly beginning to realize that my time in Wonderland is not quite over, but I am not able to visit as much as I used to. For video games, the music has definitely stopped playing, I just refuse to leave the building.

How To Not Be a Good Leader of an MMO Guild.

Posted by Inktomi Monday June 11 2012 at 11:23PM
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To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of an outrageous Guild Leader,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of Trolls.
Dost thou wishest to be a bad guild leader? Then Abandon all Hope Ye Who Readeth this Blog Post!
10) Thou shalt believe in double standards! 
What is goodly for the goose is none to well for the gander. As guild leader you can make your own rules and break them at will. If anyone breaks those rules then you may smiteth them with the bannheimer!
9) Thou shalt be unsupportive of new members!
Separate them with dual classes of thou elites and non-elites and treat them as sucheth so! If they do not liketh these labels and not an elite then they must leave as they are not elite, they are less than!
8) Thou shall giveth people no say!
It is thou inner circle of cliqueshness who maketh thou votes. If not in thou clique then they haveth no say!
7) Thou shall overreact if someone challenges your rulerness!
If someone does not boweth down to thee, then smiteth them with the bannheimer! Showeth all yonder underlings who is thy boss!
6) Thou shall not be open to suggestions!
How dareth thee who does not belong to thy high-exalted-mystic-guru level then they are trivial fools! If thy idea in question is better than thy own, then thou my stealeth thy idea and take credit! For you are thy smartest of all thee underlings!
5) Thou shall do drugs and brag about it in thy verbal chat lines.
Thou must braggeth to all thee underlings how much pot thy smoke, because to do drugs is cool! How dareth thee question thy brain cells as the whole world does drugs. Right? Right.....?
4) Thou shall be immature!
It doth not matter if governing thou underlings who are 20 years your senior. For your are thy one and only high-exalted-mystic-guru  and for what you say is LAW! If thy does not liketh thee, then thou shall get thy bannheimer!
3) Thou shall not have to endure constructive criticism!
For you are the high-exalted-mystic-guru of all MMO gaming and knoweth all. How dare thee trivial wormly underlings criticize your greatness! Thou shall giveth thee bannheimer.
2) Thou shall giveth long-winded drawn out speeches and mandatory meetings!
Thou shall runneth thy guild as a company and promote people to officer who are thy neweth members and not groweth from within! For you know all as high-exalted-mystic-guru and absolutely no one is as smart, sexy, cool, debonair, experienced, educated and all around great as you are, you are thy boss of all and must let all thy underlings knoweth thee greatness. For you are thy leader of an MMO Guild and can put it on a resume.  You can rise above the normal man with thy clicketh of mouse and keyboard. Rise above, THOU SHALL BE A KING AMONGST GAMERS! You can rule the world one MMO at a time,
1) Thou shall be a sneaky, underhanded and pompous a&#.
For you are thy high-exalted-mystic-guru who knows all, sees all and are the elite amongst elites. Thou must separate thyself from the casual scum of the earth for you are an MMO GUILD LEADER and the most important person in the world.
This is for you Loli, you will make a great guild leader one day because you care about people more than yourself and a game.

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