Monday, July 10, 2006

And what about life?

Life? ...whadda ya mean life? ...i aint got a life.
-Megadeth from the song Captive Honour
It's interesting to me how MMO's like World of Warcraft and EverQuest have become havens for studies on human behavior and interaction. Ongoing studies like the Daedalus Project continue to look at how MMO players reflect what's going on in the real world. Not surprisingly so has the media with news of players that stop eating and end up killing themselves, literally, because they can't let go. To players who are landing real life jobs because of their experiences in game (too bad I can't find the link to that story now! *sigh*).

Having just hit the "end" of the leveling in WoW I've been able to sit back and look around the landscape and there are some very interesting parallels between what the game becomes and things that happen in real life. If I told you that if you dedicated yourself to your job, gave it all your time, you would be rewarded with better things for your home, a new car, perhaps even enough to put a few of your kids through school, would you give up all of your spare time, even time with your family to achieve it?

A number of people would. Think of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc. the pinnacle of the US mentality of rags to riches. These are the examples we're shown of how to do it - give up a lot and down the road reap the rewards. If your lucky.

In games, just like life, if you want to be the best it will require you to give up your time to grind out the items and money, virtual in this case, to get those "things". The people who dedicate their time and energy to doing this will have the best "things" in game and will be looked at like the "Bill Gates" of the online world.

Trying to convince your parents and friends that having an uber Tier 2.0 set is cool is rather like telling your friends you can speak Klingon. They're going to question your sanity - unless they're into it to.

Guess this is another of those Art imitating Life ideas; Even in games we need a bit of luck and a lot of time to make things happen and as with real life the ones that will be most appreciative of the accomplishment will be those that have struggled to achieve it - virtual or real. I do wonder, will those people with the dedication in a virtual world translate it outside of it?

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