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Vinnie's Corner

Yet another person who believes he can say something original about MMO gaming... (Generally updated once per week)

Author: Vinadil

Taxation without Representation!

Posted by Vinadil Friday June 15 2007 at 10:14AM
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Gotta love mottos that rhyme. Even in the good ole days they came up with catchy slogans before they went to war. And my mind was turning to things political this morning as I was getting ready for work. As I argued with myself about national politics I came to the sad realization (allow) that our government just won't ever be what I want it to be without some major changes. And then, I realized that once again my mental wanderings applied to the current MMO world too. The issue that seems to plague me the most with government is how power seems to be moving to the Federal and away from States... something I see as a very bad thing.

And, one thing that continues to plague the MMO industry is that power is held by the dev's/publishers and taken away from the people... you know the players that pay for it. It is very different in single player games for one reason; once a person purchases the game the dev really loses any control over how that game is played. Take something like D&D for instance. Imagine if Wizards of the Coast had attempted to police EVERY group of people that EVER played the game making sure they followed EVERY rule exactly as intended. How successful do you think that would have been? The fact is that every person who played got to decide for themselves what ruleset to follow and how closely. The rules were their to add fun by providing boundaries, much like the lines on a basketball court. They were not there to force the desires of the game's creator onto the players.

But, the MMO does not work this way. The developers have constant control over the world's they create, and they seem to think that THEY alone are the guardians of "fun" and "good". If they see players acting in a way that was not intended (but still allowed with the programmed mechanics) then they can just toss down a "patch" and change the world. Sure many times the player base as a whole does not mind because they are getting rid of "exploits" and such, but the principle behind it all is that the Developers OWN the world... and we all just rent space there for a while. In fact, that is it in a nutshell... they are the landlord, and we are the lowly renter. And we are not even treated like good renters most of the time, but like the scum who at any minute might skip out on next month's rent. I get the feeling that Developers think I will screw up their game if I am given the opportunity to actually AFFECT it in any real way.

That is why they don't give dynamic quests, that is why they don't allow player-created and destroyable content, and that is why MOST of them still shy away so much from things like PvP and full-loot. Deep down they must have a fear that their precious little game will be taken and shaped into something they don't like. So, in the end, it is really not about US... it never was. It is about THEM. They want money, so they need us for a time, but they also want some IDEA of a game that they can put on a pedastal and look at each day. It is a wierd merging of Capitalist and Artisan. Perhaps that is why you HAVE two sides... the Producer and a Dev team.

In the end I think people miss out on what could be truly beautiful and wonderful worlds. I happen to think that the REAL world has turned out pretty well. Sure you can find problems when you look globally, but look at your own neighborhood. I like mine, and if there are things I DON'T like, well I have the ability to change them. Its not like it is hardcoded somewhere that the neighbor's kids have to be punks that trash my mailbox... I have a choice in the matter too, as do my neighbors whose mailboxes share the same dents. We, as a community, get to decide what our "world" looks like, and we have made it look pretty good.

I don't know why game developers feel that we would make a mess of their games, but I am starting to feel more and more like I am being over-taxed and under-represented. writes:
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