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Casual Thoughts from a Semi-Retired Philosopher

I play MMOs as an alternative to TV. Sometimes it even turns into quality time with the wife and daughter. Most of the time it's a distraction from doing something productive or meaningful.

Author: Hluill

A Response to a Response

Posted by Hluill Monday December 20 2010 at 8:33AM
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----Original Message----

 


 Keep in mind that most of us play MMOs to escape reality in one form or another. They are a form of entertainment and not a form of education - that's what school and real life experiences are for.


 


 I can understand you wish to see more reality in games but the reasoning behind seems to be a bit detached from the issue. In all honesty I think your own perception of reality has twisted a bit if you consider current MMO trends to be some sort of statement for social standards.


 


 If you are so keen to pursue your particular brand of reality why not experience it in the real world? After all, you said you are tired of living in a society that takes things for granted. This needs not to be so, but perhaps you too are more interested in facing this darker side of reality from the comfort of your home? It would explain the desire to see it in games.


 


 You have certainly already noticed others may not share this interest. I for one would rather see developers model their worlds after epic movies, such as lord of the rings, than reality. They haven't been particularly successful in this either.

 

-----------Response-----------

 

 

    All trends, not just MMOs, are a statement of social standards, from real-estate issues to liposuction.  As a civilization peaks, the things that make it great lead to its decay.  That's just the way things seem to work.  The fact that MMOs even exist; the idea that we need to "escape reality"; the need to avoid adversity; are all just signs of this loss.

The Lord of the Rings is a wonderful example.  Dr. Tolkien wrote a wonderful story, which barely mirrored reality, then somebody takes it and turns it into a flamboyant CGI spectacular, leaving out some of its more wonderful and grounding parts to make room for some really ridiculous battle scenes.  Then an MMO is made which tries to be like other MMOs but tries to capture some of the story, but it fails to capture what made the story great.

I am not going to bore you with my resume, but my perspective is based upon my real-world experiences, from splitting wood, to church work, to deployments.  Reality is a collection of perceptions, but we live in a world where we want to limit this perception.  Don't talk about starving children or slavery or brutality, let's just stay in our little bubble with the flowers and the bunnies. 

MMOs are just one more place where we don't want to bother with really knowing how things work.  They center on combat and crafting, yet they don't show how fights are won or how things are made.  Learning and striving are not limited to school.  All experiences, virtual or not, should promote growth.

I agree that my perspectives are twisted and that my opinions are dark (I prefer the term harsh).  I  understand that it is easier just to write me off and stay inside the bubble.  I understand that it's nice to take a break from the stress of the flowers and bunnies.  My escape is playing with my dog, or laughing with friends.  But the real world catches up with us all, sooner or later.