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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at, write for, run and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

Holding some players "to task."

Posted by beauturkey Tuesday August 4 2009 at 11:57PM
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Here's the thing.

I hate having a certain thing I'm about. I hate to be pigeon-holed so much as to have a "title."  I don't want to sound like some indie band on the local college radio show (" I would say we don't fit any genre really...") but I think one of my strengths is that I am pretty much all over the place. Well, one of my weaknesses, but let's pretend it makes me cute.

I accept gaming as it is: a toy. It is purely for fun, and makes you happy. Yes, even when you are in "serious EVE drama" mode, you are happy. Even when in "sheer PvP/gonna' lose all my s**t" mode, too. If not, you have crossed into the land of "Leave the F*****g Game Because it Doesn't Make You Happy Land." Games are, for me, many things at once. They are Christmas at age 12, the 4th of July when we used to get into fireworks fights, my first beer/s, and playing in the woods at night.


My thing is to remind players that they might be getting a little too serious. Why do I care? I care for many reasons:

1) Those players, sometimes being the loudest, might be mistaken as speaking for the majority or for anyone else but themselves. Go on any major gaming website and look at the most popular threads/blog posts and you will see topics about gaming failure, what developers can do better, and how the products are all the same.

2) Since the above mentioned posts are the  loudest, legitimate conversations are pushed down because they don't add anything to the negative noise.  A thread or conversation about how fun something is is just seen as having been said before, and dismissed as nothing. Yet, the same 4 topics come up about developers and they are discussed all over again.

3) These negative arguments put out false information. Look at RMT, for example. It is simply a choice on how to pay for your game, if at all.  Each individual makes a choice and it does not effect any other person. Yet, many players talk about ruined economies, items bought that are the most powerful in game without having a non-cash shop equivalent, and about how the cash-shop model doesn't work. All this coming from players that simply do not want another player buying what they "worked" for. If they are going to say something negative about something that they do not like, they should just come out and say they do not like it because it makes them feel a certain way. Instead, they come out and accuse developers of being out to get them or say that the developers are simply greedy bastards looking to "nickel and dime" players to death, as though players have no choice in the matter.

There are those that say that criticism brings out the best in someone. Game criticism makes developers stand up and notice what their community wants, and makes them be very careful about any mistakes they might make.

That's right, mistakes. As in they didn't mean to f*****g do it.

But I beg to differ. These louder-than-loud criticims (ironically, by people who play the games the most) have actually created this fantastic paranoia that is more-than-common in developers nowadays. As someone that has interviewed developers, and as someone that has attempted to GET interviews with developers, let me tell you that getting solid information out of a developer is very, very hard. Actually, near impossible. Why do developers give those canned answers that we all read in interviews?

That's their form of malpractice insurance.

Just look at patch day, today for example. WoW had a patch and all day I heard complaints about the server being up, then down. I read dozens of Tweets about it being broken, and general complaining. All this after players have spent years in games, seeing how patch days typically go.

This worry is also the reason why developer interaction with the community is rare (depending on the developer, of course.) Some of the developers I have met say they have to just tune most of that stuff out. After all, their job is not community relations, but even one visit to the forum to see players threatening to quit if their godamned class is nerfed is enough to make a developer lock them self away behind their PC.

So yeh, while I shouldn't care about what other players think, I tend to. After all, I don't blame the developers for really anything. I cannot control what they do, or how they make their products. They are simply standing there offering a game to you. Take it or leave it. And once you DO take it, understand that sometimes mistakes happen. Also understand that not everyone, despite your entire guild being angry about it, is angry about it the same thing.

And even IF the developer is evil as sin itself, LEAVE THE GAME. A simple fix, really.

The funniest thing is this undercurrent of mis-trust in the community. I actually read a blogger say that they were "holding developers to task" as though they were some kind of watch dog for the MMO community. Players like that actually believe that if the community "let's up" even a bit, the developers will suddenly be robbing you blind! MUHAHAHAHA! Not only is this an insult to the intelligence of the community, but essentially highlighting the silliness of gaming in general by saying something that a child would say. ("You're in trouble Mommy! You didn't give me my ice cream!")

Maybe that's what I like to do: remind players that this, this gaming thing, is what children do. We are playing children's games. We are pretending in the same way we did when we sat in our parents car and pretended it was a space-ship.

But that's not a bad thing. The imagination knows no age. So why do people want to pin-point game makers so much that it turns the whole process from a creative one into some kind of boring science? It's not science. It's a relatively new, kick-ass way of entertaining yourselves while you meet people from all over the world.

SO, yeh, that's my genre I guess. Sometimes I complain about the complainers. Most of the time, though (as you can see from my blog and podcasts) I am just having a really f*****g good time.