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Tell me my children, do the words of Jonathan Blow and his view on World of Warcraft ring a chord in your heart?
The Pub at MMORPG.COM « General Discussion
9/02/08 2:20:42 PM
Yes the player is getting pleasure, but not from the gameplay.
I partially agree with Blow's statements. The rewards in an MMO are completely arbitrary and could literally be labeled as anything (see the carrot on stick example above). MMO players will keep playing just to get said reward. In other kinds of games, the pleasure is taken from the action of actually playing the game. So, as far as using rewards as a substitute for meaningful play or, worse yet, as a way of padding and prolonging play, Blow is right on the money.
Where I disagree is the fact that most MMO players are more hooked on the community than the game. Most of the "hardcore" that only play games online don't have any friends in real life (mainly because they're assholes) so they plug into MMOs in order to get, at the very least, the simulacrum of social interaction. It's kind of like a virgin calling a phone sex line; not even remotely as good as the real thing, but it scratches the itch. In this regard, the MMO is giving the player exactly what they're looking for by providing a social space online.
But yeah, I agree that the case for exploitation largely depends on the so called victim. If you're a compulsive collector, then you're being exploited. If you're a shut in that can't make friends in real life (or just don't like to bath), then you're getting what you pay for