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Bill Murphy: Be Thankful for What We Have

By William Murphy on November 27, 2014 | Columns | Comments

Be Thankful for What We Have

Hey folks. This is going to be a quick column today. I know not all of our readers are from the US, but the majority of the staff is, so we’ll be busy stuffing ourselves full of spirits and merrymaking with families… and playing games before we go comatose on tryptophan. But before we do that, let’s take a moment to be thankful for you, and for the games we love.

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It’s easy, especially in today’s gaming climate, to forget why we became so invested in MMORPGs. But think back for a moment and try to recall the moment when you realized that MMOs were something you just had to be a part of.  For me, it goes back to around 2000 when I was working in a local fast food place called The Munch Box. My friend John, upon realizing I was re-reading Lord of the Rings, began regaling me with tales of adventures in a place called Dereth. Once he told me that Monty Python’s epic murderous rabbit had been digitized and put into Asheron’s Call, I knew I needed to get on the MMORPG train.

The problem? We had a weak as could be PC at the time. It wasn’t until 2002 that I could finally do more than dabble with Ultima Online and EverQuest at my friends’ houses, and that just happened to be the year Asheron’s Call 2 came out as well. I’ll never forget the first moments roving Auberean, however unfinished the game was.  It was lucky for me that 2004 brought both EQ2 and WoW, and my attention became firmly fixed on both new games before Microsoft pulled the plug on AC2 (though the game was later re-opened by Turbine). 

Still a fun game, 12 years on.

I never could have expected back then that these games would lead me here to MMORPG.com, making a living writing and ranting about what my family and many of my friends simply didn’t understand. I’ll never take for granted all the things the MMORPG has done for me, from IGN Vault and TenTonHammer to this wonderful and eclectic home for fans of what I see as the greatest genre in gaming.  The sheer amount of awesome I get to be a part of on a daily base still staggers my mind, and I will be forever thankful for everything this site has brought into my life.  First as a blogger and frequent visitor, and now as its Managing Editor.

And I’m thankful for you too, dear readers. Your support, your criticism, your cynicism, and most of all… your passion. While we can often find ourselves at odds about what game is best, or what direction the genre needs to go, we musn’t ever forget why we signed up for MMORPG.com in the first place. No, I’m not talking about the giveaways and sweepstakes. I’m talking about the love of an idea. The notion that a game can be something more than a path from start to finish with closing credits. The possibility that a game can be a home, a place to be with friends and likeminded people, a place where you can be anything you ever wanted, from blacksmith to fisherman to vaunted hero of a fallen people. 

Hard to believe that this guy's 10 years old already.

We’re in the middle of a larger transition period for the MMORPG, as the acronym becomes lost and the online worlds shrink in favor of persistent character building experiences of any kind. Publishers shy from the term MMO, but cling to the features and connections that made these games so appealing in the first place. We can blame World of Warcraft, or be thankful it exists and appreciate all it did for these games even if not every influence was welcome.

Me? I’m going to do my best to live in the moment, complain less about the games that disappoint, and praise more about the games that give me something to hold onto. Just as an MMORPG is meant to be a story that goes on and a game that never ends, we should try to remember how lucky we are to be privileged to spend so much time contemplating such a frivolous hobby. I’m not saying we shouldn’t wish for more, but we should always remember how fortunate are to have anything at all.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have followers to send on missions, and an Iron Horde to stop. Then I have a farm to tend in Auroria, a Living World story to catch up on, and crafting writs to take care of in Tamriel.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and happy gaming forever.

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, and lover of all things gaming. He''s been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.