My neck has for some years now had a tattoo on it, big black letters, right out in the open and hard to cover for job interviews. It is my only tattoo and I've taken great pride in what it used to symbolize.
It reads "GAMER".
Ok thats obviously the 3D version of me, but never the less.
Gamers to me are a species who are more then a tad geeky, but not quite as geeky as for instance a coder. The two may however hang in the same circles, and often share interests.
MMO-Gamers are people who's default social skills are on par with the average guy, but chooses to indulge in fantasy worlds rather then traditional social activities (and as such are, or at least were, often misunderstood for anti-social).
An MMO-Gamer is someone that enjoys challenge, learning and improvement, and may not find the equivalent elements of real life satisfactory to his/her needs.
An MMO-Gamer is a romantic, although generally not aware that they are. Romantic in the sense that while society at large is a cynical endeavour . - exploring new frontiers, battling dragons alongside brothers in arms, telling stories by the campfire, forming communities, and solving the deeper mysteries of the world they happen to be playing.. represents the core values to a gamers happiness.
For these reasons I have proudly worn my tattoo. feeling that it is a statement, that I'll happily explain to the few that may be interested.
As is tradition in my little posts, the above has little but atmospheric value to my current beef with something.
The above described Gamers, and many variations of these have carried their burden for years. Social outcast, the fight to justify ones lifestyle and choices, the price of hardware before it became mainstream.. having to go out every now and then to pick up essential life-support such as food and cigarettes.. the horror.
Yet they have financially carried technology and design to where it is today, and ever so shunned continued to spread the word of enlightenment to those that did not want to hear it.
Now everyone is a gamer.
It has become mainstream.
Everyone has a computer, everyone play games.
You would think the gamer could now live happily ever after.
But he was betrayed... dam dam daaaaam!
The industry that was built on the sacrifice of the gamer, turned it's back on him.
With the massive influx of potential customers, they stopped making games for gamers.
Role-players, number-crunchers, explorers, builders and organisers alike.. gone are the days where they had a place in the online world.
Every MMO coming out for I don't even recall how long now, has consistently dumbed down every element of gameplay to the point that it's little more interactive then watching a movie while mashing two buttons repeatedly.
I understand that there is a huge market for the modern theme-park MMO.. But, we are still here. Gamers.
We're on every forum for every game, begging for a challenge, for the option to make our own choices instead of sliding a lubed up tube from start to finish.
Housing, open world exploration, intricate stats, customizable crafting, non-linear progress.. having to go up to another player and ask for the way, because its not hammered in stone. Or for assistance because not everything in the world can actually be soloed. In short the "world" - feeling.
Where did the open world sandbox go, and why does no development company wish to fill this void?
Are there so few of us left starving for this, that we're no longer a viable target-group?