In response to “Careful What You Wish For” from The Escapist Forum: To provide an alternative voice, let it be remembered that bought gold will eliminate the initial, capitalist’s utopia-style equality of an MMO, insofar as it exists; The rich kids of reality become the rich kids in the game, and suddenly your boss at work is also your boss at home, online.

You think of your games as Escapism? You’ll find yourself somewhere quite familiar if you aid the system that will equate the dollar, pound, euro, yen or otherwise to your ‘gold’, ‘credits’ or.. bottlecaps.

Oh, forgot to mention – I liked the article, well-written! =)

– Jakkar

I agree with others that buying gold necessarily helps the gold sellers, who often obtain their goods through criminal activity. If they were actually kids in sweatshops, I’d feel somewhat better about it. My girlfriend had her account compromised, all of her stuff (and the rest of the guild’s stuff) sold, and her characters deleted. Thankfully Blizzard was prompt in putting (almost) everything back, but it was still traumatic – she had played for months to get to that point.

I’m glad that Bill understood that fun isn’t about having the best stuff, but about working together and socializing with friends. This is all that much clearer in an MMO, where the entire point of the game is to socialize (the major challenges in an MMO involve organizing a group of people to work together, at which point every mob and instance becomes trivial).

Unfortunately, I think it points out the biggest problem with MMOs in general – without a group of friends, the game itself consists of grind and gear. This is compounded by the fact that players have to be of similar levels in order to be able to see mutual benefit. This requires people to either grind their way up to where everyone else is (while they themselves continue to advance, only finally meeting up at the level cap) and to maintain similar paces while playing. This involves far too many variables to be kept synchronized. It seems many people are able to work around this, but it has always been an issue for my friends and me when we played WoW and has been even more serious as I have entered solitarily into new MMOs.

MMO makers could go a long way towards eliminating the gold/gear race by making it easier for people to group up and work together. This means not only making it easier to meet and greet other people, but to work together in spite of differences in level and experience. Warhammer has done a good job of that with their RvR by promoting low level players to higher levels equal with other combatants, allowing them to join and enjoy the fight no matter what level they are. I think games could go a step further by rewarding high-level players for helping low-level players, thus discouraging them from forging on ahead without their lower-level friends.

– ReverseEngineered

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In response to “Artistic License” from The Escapist Forum: I actually really appreciate this article for the glimpse it gives to what goes on behind the scenes of what appears a simple game.

When a game has been done well, it should appear as if it had not been designed at all, rather mined from some godly ore in the frontal lobe of one mans vision and then given form. Games like ‘Portal’ and ‘N’ do this brilliantly, a simplicity of design and function that integrates with the player so seamlessly it leaves far more room for having a truckload of fun (and in the case of both the games mentioned, a great deal of rocketing through empty space around turrets)

And so its rather easy not to smell the blood, sweat and tears poured into games like this (Of which i am prematurely elevating de Blob, to good or ill end i do not know) and articles like this allow appreciative fools like me a window into the world behind them.

Although now that i have read it, i cant experience that feeling aforementioned. The one with the mine and the frontal lobe…

So… thank you?

– Ultrajoe

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In response to “We the Gamers” from The Escapist Forum: [EULA’s are] tough to crack but contracts similar to the one in video games have been busted before. Like the article said, what makes it hard is that you’ve agreed to arbitration, which means you go to an outside unbiased judge instead of a legal court. The problem is that the Judge is just gonna look at you and say, “You clicked ‘I Agree’ to their batty contract, what’s the problem?”

@ Fenixius

Funny you should mention that, the U.S. Copyright service has a giant gaping hole in it regarding user-created mods and who has the rights to them. The Lanham Act (the law controlling Copyrights) was never designed for video games. It shoehorns them into this category called ‘audiovisual displays’ but it was intended for movies, not games.

And oh the lawsuits that are going to come out when people start making money off their mods…

– L.B. Jeffries

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In response to “Corporate Consoletation” from The Escapist Forum: There are only a few games which I’ve ever found that work with advertisements, instead of them being in your face about it. Surprise, surprise, all of these games involve sport of some sort. Gran Turismo 4, GTR Evolution, more recent field sports games – you associate these sorts of games with advertisements, because their real-life analogues are plastered with advertising themselves.

That said, I remember the days when games had to either create their own adverts or else make modified versions of adverts by other companies to avoid being sued.

– RAKtheUndead

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