The power of choice.
As online gamers, we have an insane amount of games to choose from. Many of which are F2P. And whether you are for or against F2P, the fact is that it at least allows you to try out the game to see if you enjoy the basic premise, mechanics, controls, etc.
The problem with so many choices is comparable to Cable TV. 900 channels and nothing good on. When I was a child, there were 6? 7? channels. Major networks plus PBS and a couple of UHF B-grade channels. If you were watching TV, you made do with what happened to be on one of those channels.
This is very much like MMORPGs back when EverQuest came out, or even when Dark Age of Camelot released as well. There were simply not many choices. So you either stayed with what you were comfortable with, or tried one or two of the others for a while. No matter how you handled it in the end, you had to make a choice from a handful of games if you wanted to play ... and we liked it.
Now? There are countless MMOs on the market. An incredible amount of them allow you to download and play them for free - at least to start. For the most part, the days of a 7 or 14 day trial are gone. You can just download and try.
Not only are there countless online games, but there are so many sub-genres inside of the genres that it's crazy. There are choices coming out of our collective ears! And every year brings more and more to the table.
And you know what? People complain more now than ever before. Exposed to so many choices, it seems most people have decided that with countless games available, there ought to be ONE that is "Perfect" for them.
Gone are the days of finding something entertaining and sticking with it in order to have fun. Everything has become a competition. Hell, you can't even praise a game you're playing without people bashing you for enjoying that game! And why? Because it's not *their* game of choice. Think about that. Are all of these people really trying to herd everyone into a single MMO, one that *they* deem to be the best(at the time)? Why has this behavior become so common?
NEWS FLASH: It's okay for other people to enjoy game X or Y, even if you don't. It's NOT necessary to chime in if you don't personally enjoy the game. What's the point? Go enjoy your game or write about how you enjoy your game in the forums. Why must people rain on everyone elses parade?
I believe that we, as online gamers, have become so desensitized because of the sheer amount of choices available that virtually nothing would satisfy us.
I realize that WHEN you started gaming online and WHAT game you started with is going to actually have a profound effect, not only on how you see other games but also how you treat other people.
The fact is, and yes this is a fact, before the masses started playing MMORPGs we had good communities. It was rare to run into jerks, not the other way around. Your character's name was your reputation. There was respect all around. Unspoken etiquette that we followed. This is all but gone now. Your best hope is to find a guild that is made up of good people. Those are rare and can often be very difficult to find if you're playing a game that is new to you.
The bottom line, seriously, is that too many choices can be a bad thing. I believe that's where we are at right now. Too many choices and we keep looking to soon-to-be-released games to be "the one".
If only we could step back, gain perspective, take everything we've learned over the years, and make an informed decision on what game we would likely enjoy playing.. And then force yourself to play it until you are certain it's not the right one or it is.. But just browsing a list a games and saying, "nah" over and over will accomplish nothing.
I'm taking my own advice. Too many choices has become a negative. I need to gain fresh perspective and be honest with myself.