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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Getting Ahead

Posted by BillMurphy Tuesday March 29 2011 at 3:05PM
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In a lot of ways, I really wish Real Life reflected the way things tend to work in MMOs.

It's not a perfect system, but generally in most subscription-based MMOs if you put the time and effort into something you get the reward.  You may have to put a lot of hours in, you may have to do something over and over again, but you will get that shiny reward.  Maybe it's a sword, or a mount, or just the next level for your beefy dwarf warrior.  But the rule of thumb is: put in the effort, reap the reward.

Now there's a slew of MMOs that offer convenience for a price, but I'm not going to talk about them here.  Other than to say they're a little closer to the "RL" model than anything else.  Meaning: in many of them, the more you spend, the better you fare.

No, I wish Real Life was more like traditional MMOs.

I worked hard.  I studied my arse off to get my Masters.  I worked hard some more and got a great job in the Veterans Affairs Department.  I worked my arse off writing for this site and made my way to Lead Writer for our network here.  I work two jobs, I put my nose down and do them both with as much conviction and heart as I can.  And at the end of the day?  At the end of the day I still watch the folks with all the money be the ones with all the power. 

I can work my whole life.  I will work my whole life.  I'll love the people I befriend, and god willing my wife and I will enjoy a fruitful and happy time together.  This is all I can really ask for.  And believe you me, I will be content if I can just enjoy my short time here on this planet.  But I can't help feeling a little down-trodden sometimes when I realize that all this work and toil so many of us go through is for naught in a world where we simply cannot fight corruption and greed. 

Maybe I'm a defeatist.  But I just call it realism.  I'll be content to laugh, and love, and live what life I am given.

Oh man... that was a downer.  Um, let's make it happy.  Puppies!

Mystik86 writes:

I feel exactly the same way about life in general. I wish that all the hard work paid off the way it does in traditional MMOs...

RL as it is seems more like a skill-based sandbox where the powerful and rich are cheating, and the rest of us stay in a perpetual "noob-like" state regardless of our skill levels...

I have 400 points in art and Image hasn't called me back yet...

Wed Mar 30 2011 1:19AM Report
Mykell writes: Whose to say you wouldn't be just as greedy and corrupt as those in power? I figure if you really want money and power nothing is stopping you from joining the various political systems around the world and getting a slice. Money and power have never really interested me and i've managed quite a few and varied life experiences on a tight budget and learnt more about myself and the world than i ever would have if i'd had everything handed to me. Wed Mar 30 2011 6:16PM Report
Jakdstripper writes:

true happiness requires no money or power, only a peaceful mind. if it wasnt so then childhood would have to be the most miserable part of human life.

no ammount of money or power can buy you that, and yet everyone is just as close to it as the next guy. just a few thoughts away......

Wed Mar 30 2011 6:29PM Report
AKASlaphappy writes:
I agree with the above post! Money and power does not produce happiness; in fact there is a pretty significant suicide rate in people that are rich. To me it all boils down to this; if you fall into the illusion of  seeking pleasure (which our instant gratification society promotes) and not focus on finding out what happiness truly means you will always be miserable for the rest of your life. One of my favorite quotes from the wealthy people I know in life that are truly happy is “Money does not change people it just magnifies what they are, if a person without money is unhappy, bitter, and angry, money will just make those characteristics come to head to an even greater degree.”
Also one thing you need to look at is the path you have chosen, not saying there is anything wrong with it, but the path you described is what everyone is doing (IE the masses). Most people now days get a degree, they also work hard at their job and most of them now days’ work multiple jobs. This is exactly what the masses are doing, why do you think you are going to be something special and not get exactly what they are getting, when you are doing the exact same thing. That is not how life works, if you follow the pack you are going to end up where the pack is. You do have a choice though, you do not need to follow the 80% through life, you can always figure out what the 20% did if you really want it. Then stop following the pack and do something most people on this planet will never do, step out of your comfort zone and start to change yourself so you are more then who are at right now.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes and what you described in your article fits it; Albert Einstein- “ Insanity equals doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Wed Mar 30 2011 7:17PM Report
Justarius1 writes:

 if it wasnt so then childhood would have to be the most miserable part of human life.


Childhood *was* the most miserable part of my human life.  I'm 32 now, and I vastly preferred the years 18-32 than I did 1-18.


Just sayin'

Wed Mar 30 2011 8:31PM Report
LadyAlibi writes:

I think some of the other comments have been a bit harsh-- I don't think the author was actually complaining about his life, but rather that some people seem to be able to skip the grind to the top. 


I've known people born with money (and I mean REAL money) who have failed spectacularly at life, even after inheriting their parent's wealth. Money doesn't buy class or good sense. It's might be a leg up, but it's not a golden ticket.


I think it's a matter of how you measure your 'level' in life. Of course the min/max folks rise to the top, just like in a game-- they are self-made, and you can do that too, if you look at how to maximize your gain of power and money and put that first. But maybe you don't need to be in that top tier to be a successful player at life. Life, unlike MMO games, offers the ultimate sandbox experience-- you don't have to measure yourself in bosses defeated and gear achieved.


I've learned for myself that my time is worth more to me than money. Most of the things I truly love doing in life aren't things I get paid for, and that's ok with me. A job for me has to be something that I feel is worthy of my time, because we don't need much money to live on, and while I've had jobs that paid a lot more, they were so soul-crushing that there was just not enough money in the world to keep it from souring everything in life for me. (Working in a state-run nursing home takes a special person that is NOT me, for instance.) 


But, then again, most of the people I admire most aren't rich or powerful, they are just people I know. They are people who are really out there living their lives-- world travelers, artists, people who can speak 5 languages fluently (for real), mathematicians (who truly love thier work), moms who manage to 'do it all' and so on. So that's how I measure success-- the degree to which you lead a joyful life and follow your dreams.



Thu Mar 31 2011 9:06AM Report
Tanemund writes:

What you think MMOs got right others might consider the worst application of the Participation Trophy Principle.  We've raised two generations of kids to think they're awful special snowflakes.  No one loses, no one comes in second and everyone gets a trophy.  No one is ever told "you're not good enough". 


Now you come to an MMO and all you have to do is sit your butt in front of the computer as long as everyone else and you can have exactly what everyone else has.  You don't even have to put any real effort in.  You can just google up one of the half a dozen "walk through" sites and viola, you're a FIREWORK baby!


The world doesn't work like that and you'd better thank the gods that it doesn't.  If you got out of a warm bed this morning with a roof over your head, drove your car to work and you've got three square meals waiting for you today then, brother, you've got a better life than 90% of the people walking the planet.  Your hobby is playing VIDEO GAMES IN THE LAND OF MAKE-BELIEVE and you have the nerve to whine that some people in the world have got a few more ducats than you do?  We've got so much food lying around in this country that people have to work out to keep from getting fat!  You know what fat is to most of the world?  A SIGN OF WEALTH!  That's why rounded figures were considered sexy right up until Coco Channel decided that thin bony people would be models in the 1950s.


Lets hit real close to home and ask the Chinese Gold Farmers in WoW if they'd trade with you.  At least the gold farmer has an excuse for spending two to three hours a day on-line.  They don't play, they don't EAT.  What's your excuse?


Gods I hate Whiney Nerd Syndrome.  Look I'm a nerd too, but I quit crying about it after High School.  You know why?  It's not a grown up approach to life.  Why is it we nerds seem cursed to go through life with a glass half empty approach?  And by the way, if you're reading this, you're a nerd.  Don't even try to deny that someone who plays computer games and spends time reading websites about COMPUTER GAMES isn't a nerd. 


The truth is we all made choices that led us to this place.  Yes all of us.  We live a life with luxury time to spend on computer games and reading and posting about computer games.  We're all tremendously lucky to have that kind of life.  If you're not happy with where your choices have led you then make some more choices, but don't come around and complain that "life isn't fair because I put in the time and I don't get the same reward as XYZ".  Maybe, just maybe the truth is those people with more have a talent that you just don't have.  Maybe, just maybe, they earned their spot just like you earned yours.  How about trying to give a little credit where credit is do instead of assuming you're the best thing since the graphix card and you're simply unnoticed.  I bet if you ask your boss why X makes more than you your boss will have a very specific answer like "Well X works on weekends while you're home "working'" at your video game job". 


Sure, life isn't fair, but before you cry about it look at how far a head start you got compared to most of the planet.  You've already got your participation trophy.  The rest is gravy and if you want some, then go get some.  No one stopping you except you.

Thu Mar 31 2011 10:11AM Report
alkarionlog writes:

I did find curious one thing people are here saying "true happiness" I will reapeat what a professor of my said to me one time during the start of his class,


you want happiness? I can't show you the way, but I can tell you where to start, go out and leave this place, if you want to happiness be ignorant, the less you known easyer is for you be happy.

Thu Mar 31 2011 12:36PM Report
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