In this episode, Draculetta joins me to talk about how video gaming has impacted our lives, how our lives impact the way we game, and the good and bad effects gaming can have on individuals. We also discuss obscure topics such as Judas Priest and the unfortunate heavy metal smear campaigns of the 1980’s. Sound weird? It is, a little.
Definitive Gaming History
Main Topic – How Has Gaming Affected your Real Life?
Questions/Topics for discussion:
- How are some of the ways the hobby of gaming has changed/affected your life?
- What would you say is the most positive way gaming has changed/affected your life and why?
- Have there been any negative effects on your real life?
- Let’s reverse the question: How are some ways your real life has affected your gaming life?
- The BBC recently posted an article called “Do Video Games Make You Violent?” What is your take on this? Is this akin to the “heavy metal music” and Dungeons and Dragons scares of the 80’s, or is there something to the actual desensitization to violence with repeated exposure?
- On the flip side, I found an article in The Guardian written by Keith Stewart, who has an autistic son who has found a way to interact with others through Minecraft.
What Have I Been Up to?
I originally enjoyed LOTRO’s F2P implementation. They stuck to their five Cs of selling content, consumables, cosmetics, concierge services, and convenience. However, as the years went by, it seemed like the developers were constantly pushed towards engineering more inconveniences into the game.
Gameplay systems that previously featured reasonable goals were expanded into unreasonable grinds. The design of the game made these systems increasingly inscrutable to newcomers, but obvious buttons to click and pay to progress through them were always front-and-center.
The thing that really drove me crazy was the addition of Hobbit Presents, which is basically a slot machine to take your real money and maybe if you’re lucky give you back something you can actually use. This seemed so disrespectful to the world Tolkien created. No self-respecting hobbit would give you a random gift on his or her birthday, then turn around and offer you the chance to buy another.
I don’t consider myself a LOTRO player anymore. I do still log in once or twice a week just to enjoy the game world and connect with friends, so I’m glad Turbine continues to operate the game.
Thinking about it, I’m not sure LOTRO grind is really a function of F2P at all. The grindiest slayer deeds were in Angmar and Moria, and as far as I know they were there before F2P ever came along. Not that I was around then.
I suspect the grinding is more a function of old-fashoned game design. By all accounts sub-only MMOs back in the day weren’t short of grind, nor other game mechanics that would tax a modern player’s patience. (Waiting ages for a mob to respawn, long treks to get to the start of an instance, etc etc.)
If anything LOTRO has been trimming the numbers of mobs needed for deeds in the time that I’ve been around, not increasing it.
In a sense, I think there are two levels of “quitting” an MMO (or any game really). There is the “this game sucks and I’m out!” /uninstall level; and the “I was playing Game A, now I’m playing Game B” level. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so upset that I quit/uninstalled a game because it was that bad.
Furthermore, I don’t think you really “quit” a great game – it sort of just fades to the background as a new great game takes it place. I can recite a ton of games (including LOTRO), where I thought, “This is so awesome, I’m going to play this forever!” As I look back, I don’t recall “quitting” any of them, they just sort of got replaced by the next latest and greatest.
Quitting MMOs is a thing, but then not a thing for me. For instance, I quit EQ2 after playing it for several years, but have started up playing it again multiple times, so like you I think I just take a hiatus here and there. The only game that has been constant for me for the past 4-5 years is League of Legends, which doesn’t really constitute as an MMO, but surely holds my interest.
Great perspectives – Draven03
Really interesting topics, well discussed and presented. I always look forward to the next episode and soon I’ve finished one.
Need more Beyond Bossfights – Cray Ambler
Well organized, light-hearted, and interesting. I look forward to this podcast showing up as “new” each month.
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Voiceover by Alexa Rubinov