The Inequitable Equity of MMOs

The Inequitable Equity of MMOs

Sometimes a digital life can feel more rewarding then real life.

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Really excellent article on how escapism can smooth over the typical problems in MMOs. It's particularly nice to see honesty about how easy it is to succumb to depression during a lengthy period of unemployment - way too many people pussyfoot around it or aggravatingly insist that all you have to do is think positively.

Nowadays with unemployment/underemployment holding fairly high and most MMOs going F2P, people have even more (and cheaper/free) options for escapism if they need it. This is a good thing, but only if people remember to actually, y'know, try to improve their life situation in between gaming sessions.

And I was just recently thinking about putting social classes and jobs in an MMO. All you ever hear about is the dungeon/planet crawling.

Good read.

It is an interesting point in an MMO when your playing and you realize how not fun the game has become. I played World of Warcrack for a while and after hitting the level cap and slaying some big beasty in a big dungeon someone asked "Want to do it again?" my emersion broke.

Heh, it's like reading my own history with WoW. I tried the except same thing with other MMO's and indeed, they just don't feel the same and you're right; it's because of me, not the game.

I know article writers don't often answer in topics, but I have to ask: do you resent your time in Galaxies?

This was a great read, and one that I could relate to. Unfortunately, before my life could balance itself, Galaxies, in addition to it's share of troubles, decided to completely re-imagine the game. I didn't take it well and have been jaded ever sense.

Old Republic may not offer up as much of a community feel, but it makes me feel heroic and important all on it's own with a robust story and skillful voice-acting. I love MMOs, I just wish I could afford to play SWTOR right now, given that I have nothing to do this summer until next semester starts up.

Jeff Davis:
The Inequitable Equity of MMOs

Sometimes a digital life can feel more rewarding then real life.

Read Full Article

(Possible error: Housing in SWG was not instanced. In fact, that's what made it so fantastic.)

I'm with you 100% on this game (at least, as it was "back in the day"). I was pretty unhappy at work, and had no family or friends in the town I had moved to for the job. And I had even tried other games, trying to steer clear of a subscription. But when I finally tried it, the feeling of a virtual world took hold quickly.

I loved having a house that I could decorate, and that people could visit while I was offline. I had a presence even when I wasn't present! I loved finally finding a game in which "gameplay" didn't have to mean "Killing things in one of several ways." I was a smuggler and a weaponsmith, and happy not to be fighting stormtroopers or krayt dragons or any of that.

It's not just you and I that have changed, though. MMOs are very different. Gone are those world-building aspects. A completely player-driven economy, an incredibly robust resource/crafting system, full time non-combat play options, and still the best player house/city setup I've experienced.

(But I will say that I really feel I wouldn't have the time to dedicate to it anymore, anyway, so it's probably for the best...)

Even now, when the job is in one of its Hell periods, I come home and spend the first hour parked in front of a video game. It's not avoidance, not specifically. It's coming home from a job in which no project is ever really complete, and no problem is ever really solved, and where I have to always fight with one hand tied behind my back... and sitting down to a problem that I can solve, or a project that I can complete.

It's not always video games. For awhile, it was modifying Nerf blasters, or even designing a still-in-progress zombie survival horror pen-and-paper RPG. But just giving my mind a brief feeling of both power and resolution made a huge difference in my ability to rest...

Maybe that's why so many of us look back on the games we played as kids so fondly. For many of us, myself included, that was a time when real life was full of bullies and seemingly unattainable expectations from parents and teachers and those games were our escape. It would seem the name of this site is very well chosen.

Great article. I wasn't old enough to play SW:G when it came out, but I remember watching X-play rip on it quite frequently. A shame it's gone, or more specifically, it's a shame SOE ruined it.

I wasn't exactly in the correct age range for SWG nor was I ever really into MMOs to begin with.

Still, the thought of getting lost into a game because your real life sucks... it's scary, yet at the same kinda enticing.

Great article, MMOs are definitely a danger zone for most, a truly unique breed of entertainment. Sometimes I can't get into it, but some of them I'll get sucked into, only to appear 3 months later, with nothing accomplished in RL since I started playing it instead.

I still look back fondly at the time before I had a wife and kids, when I was a grocery clerk and spent the rest of my time playing World of Warcraft during the hours of the day I wasn't working or sleeping.

Pre-burning crusade just before cross server battlegrounds came out. A bunch of random people got together and decided to get their PVP ranks in the under-60 BGs. We leveled together, we ran a ton of BGs together and it was just such an awesome time to be a part of a team.

Our guild was so awesome that just after cross server BGs came out we convinced the top rival horde pvp guild to re-roll as alliance and join us. Almost all of us had epic pvp mounts before level 60.

Now I don't have more than 2 contiguous hours to rub together in a week but I'll always have the memories of the time when I could devote myself to the game.

One of the most website-appropriate articles I've ever seen. I've never used MMOs in this way, but it's a great read anyway.

Great article. I've been dealing with a period of irregular employment (that is, I normally have a full time job and two personal money making ventures, now I just have the venture) for a tad over a year now. When it started...just about this time last year...I got into WoW and I have to say I've enjoyed every bit of it. Although, I've never really thought of it as something as a life success replacement, more along the lines of just something else I do with my day. I've got a number of personal projects (ranging from creative ventures to entertaining crap I'd like to watch/read/play/do) piled up over the years, enough that if I never had to leave my house again, I'd have enough to do to keep me busy for several decades. And by the end of it, I'd have forgotten the beginning and could start again.

I do know people who are just having crappy lives and use WoW as a way to succeed in life. I feel for them and try to do what I can to get them out in the world, but it's not always successful. Depression is a scary thing.

Am I the only one to notice that the picture is from The Old Republic, not SW Galaxies? I was a little disappointed that the article had nothing to do with SWTOR.

Wow, i could have written this article. This was pretty much exactly my experience, playing WoW saved me from totally self destructing during my year and a half long unemployment stint. THis was barely 6 months after I dropped out of college because i couldnt afford to stay. All my RL friends were still there and i just couldn't bring myself to go up and see them most of the time.

WOw provided a place where i had total control over my fate. A place where no one cared where i came from or what my qualifications were, only what i could do, and who i was. It served as a stand in for the life i so desperately wanted. I took a leadership role amongst the people i played with and my druid wasn't my character anymore, he was simply me, just a bit taller and with hooves and horns. I made some lasting friendships during that period that really helped me get through it. I've long since moved on from wow but i still talk to the friends i made there all the time. I may not be as far down my path as i would have liked, but nowadays im moving in the right direction. It helped me get through the rough patch till i could find my way back on track so I can honestly say i have a better life thanks to world of warcraft.

Great article! I can really relate to the statement that the games werent different, I was.

It is interesting how MMOs, and video games in general, seem to become all the less interesting and engaging when things in your real life are chugging away the way you want them to be.

I miss my pets, my house, my yt-13000, krayt dragons, my barc speeder, the secret area on Dathomir, being friends with the best crafter in the server, exploring star wars locations. I miss the challenge of space combat and the success of pulling off a difficult encounter. I miss taking my desert skiff into the lava pits of mustafar. I miss seeing red and purple flashes of light on the horizon below a darkened sky and knowing they are jedi and to avoid bounty hunter players i need to avoid them.

SWtOR has quite a bit going for it, but it doesn't come close to some of the things in SWG.

Nice article, good read.

I have had quite a long relationship with the MMO genre, and although i never play SWG (before they changed it anyway), i have also used the game as an escape from reality. WoW is probably the biggest offender, as it is the only MMO i ever really stayed with.

I recently started playing again as a real life friend 'resurrected' me, and played a character to level cap and joined his raiding guild and got the current gear set. But after i did this, i never felt the urge to continuously log in everyday and the game no longer consumed my thoughts.

So the game no longer had this hold on me like it used to, which is a shame as i liked the feeling of coming home from school and having something waiting for me that i want to finish or collect.

Completely random and off the point question;

You mention your husband and you yourself appear to be a man (I don't know many girls named Jeff). I didn't think gay marriage was possible 5 or 6 years ago.

Have to say that this is the most well written article I've seen on the escapist in a while. I can truly relate to your story, as a lot of people seem to. You put a smile on my face and really helped put my life into perspective. I've been attempting to chase that feeling for quite a number of years and was blaming the poor standard of games. Glad to see it's just a part of growing up.

Going to save this article so my son can read it when he grows up and see if he can also relate.

Thanks again, Levi

Ditto with Everquest. played a whole bunch of MMOs since then and you're right, you'll never get that engrossment as you did with your first when life seems to be in the shits.

Great read. You never see the underlying issue till some1 else brings it up. At least i know y MMOs don't do it for me anymore.

Li Mu:
Completely random and off the point question;

You mention your husband and you yourself appear to be a man (I don't know many girls named Jeff). I didn't think gay marriage was possible 5 or 6 years ago.

The word he used was "spouse." It is also a term used in civil unions and domestic partnerships, both of which have been around in the U.S. since the early 2000s, right around when SWG was popular.

DTWolfwood:
Ditto with Everquest. played a whole bunch of MMOs since then and you're right, you'll never get that engrossment as you did with your first when life seems to be in the shits.

Great read. You never see the underlying issue till some1 else brings it up. At least i know y MMOs don't do it for me anymore.

Meh, not true. I played EQ involvement with SWG.

Akisa:

DTWolfwood:
Ditto with Everquest. played a whole bunch of MMOs since then and you're right, you'll never get that engrossment as you did with your first when life seems to be in the shits.

Great read. You never see the underlying issue till some1 else brings it up. At least i know y MMOs don't do it for me anymore.

Meh, not true. I played EQ involvement with SWG.

i had the same experience with a different MMO had nothing to do with the games itself. As in EQ was my first and had the same addiction during a time in my life was wasn't all too happy about.

Sheo_Dagana:

The word he used was "spouse." It is also a term used in civil unions and domestic partnerships, both of which have been around in the U.S. since the early 2000s, right around when SWG was popular.

He did say husband.

Real life wasn't offering me anything better which made it even easier to put it on the back burner. Instead I poured myself into the little projects I'd created in my new virtual life. My museum devoured countless hours, endless resources and much of my husband's sanity. I even did odd jobs on the side; a wedding dress here or a trenchcoat there. I looked for any excuse to ignore the real world a little longer.

But sure, it was probably a domestic partnership.

Li Mu:
Completely random and off the point question;

You mention your husband and you yourself appear to be a man (I don't know many girls named Jeff). I didn't think gay marriage was possible 5 or 6 years ago.

Sheo_Dagana:

Li Mu:
Completely random and off the point question;

You mention your husband and you yourself appear to be a man (I don't know many girls named Jeff). I didn't think gay marriage was possible 5 or 6 years ago.

The word he used was "spouse." It is also a term used in civil unions and domestic partnerships, both of which have been around in the U.S. since the early 2000s, right around when SWG was popular.

He used Husband a few times, and could be that the author lives in Canada, or got married there, same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005.

On topic: I had a friend of mine loose himself in that game once upon a time, I however, spent thousands of hours playing Star Wars: Battlefront with my younger brother. I spent so much time as a rebel sniper that I could hit a storm troopers helmet from half of Bespin: Platforms away.

The introspection in this article gives me the chills.

Now if you'll excuse me, I want to go home and rethink my life.

 

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