I’ve come to a realization recently that I am an old-fashioned gamer. Not the tasty cocktail or ice-cream sundae kind of Old-Fashioned either, but the stodgy get-these-kids-off-my-lawn kind. I’ve been watching people game-hop and finding myself annoyed at those pesky kids and their wanton gaming ways. And then it hit me, we’re talking about games here. Yep folks, I have fallen into the trap of equating fun, leisure activities with real world morality and considerate behavior. Ouch, what have I been thinking and where did it all start?!
Granted, the games I care most about are highly social MMOs that rely heavily on groups and people working together in teams. But when did I start thinking that these games required some kind of long-term commitment or monogamy from me and everyone else I know who plays them? When did I start having this sense of superiority or being the adult in the room for sticking to my guns and staying faithful? It has been subtle and built up over time, especially by my own desire to support guilds and communities, but it is unrealistic and silly to expect long-term commitment from people playing games.
So all of you free-spirited early-adopters, you mavericks willing to put up with bugs, lag, growing pains, and all the other bumps in the road to experience the new hotness, I salute you! Maybe I’ll even get up the gumption to get out of my rocker, off the porch, and join you in a few of them. Then again, I expect you’ll be miles ahead of me, running free in the wind to the next new thing by the time I get there.
Let’s face it folks, even MMOs can only hold our attention for so long before we start to get restless and bored. And there are always new (or old-familiar) vistas to experience.
It will mean a pretty serious paradigm shift for me though. I’m not a dabbler, but in order to play a lot of different games, I think I need to dabble more and end-game less. This means giving up crafting and being pretty penniless. I think I can live with that if I’m not trying to support the raiding habit. It means spending time on walkabout again. I’ve done that in the past, headed off in a direction and just travelled as far the game map would let me. Maybe with enough variety I will even keep myself from getting too stir-crazy over repetitive mechanics or behavior. Whew, I’m getting tired just thinking about it, think I’ll go back and take a little ol’ fashioned nap first.