A Public Response: Stop Telling People How to Game

I had a strange response to my entry about downing Kil’jaeden. I feel it deserves public treatment, because it highlights what I dislike about a specific portion of the anti-MMO community. The comment comes from someone named “Muckbeast.” I guess because he is trying to be a muckraker in the MMO community. Right…

I killed him solo in a private server months ago. Me solo > your raid guild.

Think about that, and then ask yourself if it was really worth all the broken friendships, drama, anger, rage, arguments, etc. that it took to get to this point.

Raiding gives a very FALSE sense of accomplishment that often results in people letting their real life accomplishments falter. Everyone has a certain amount of accomplishment they want to attain in life. When they get it from a game, they stop seeking it in real life.


Everything I have written above is an exaggeration. I wrote it to make a point. Raiding and gaming should be about fun, not about some kind of titanic “achivement” that feels like you just gave birth.


Are you suggesting any time a friendship breaks, an argument is presented, drama beheld, or rage expressed, the cause wasn’t worth it? I’ve lost friends over my time commitment to running, work and school of all things. Is the pursuit of accomplishments in these fields not worth the investment, considering these problems can arise? I guess I’ll just stop taking classes, quit my job, and sit on my couch all day so everyone can come over, have a few beers, and play X-Box or watch TV any time they want. Until, of course, I have to sell my television and my X-Box to pay for the quadruple bypass I needed to save my life after a debilitating heart attack onset by a sedentary lifestyle.

I use the Socratic method and the same style of exaggeration to counter your point and force you to really consider the argument you’re making. Obviously, I don’t believe any of the things I listed are worth dropping, as they are key to my well-being, success, and happiness in life. Just as MMOs can be an adequate source of entertainment providing happiness in life to those who prefer and enjoy them. I say this as someone who has played single and multi-player console games, FPS’s, RTS’s, dungeon crawlers, a couple MUD’s and MUSH’s (I even helped code a MUSH for a short while), top-down multiplayer games, etc. I’ve played games that adhere to all the MMO models: free, distributed, premium and subscription-based.

If you don’t think I’ve enjoyed raiding immensely, you’re terribly wrong. There surely have been frustrations and issues that arise during raids, but they are no different than those that occur in any social setting or business endeavor. It doesn’t mean there haven’t been rewarding experiences or friendships created in the process. Nor is it suggestive of abnormal behavior, something you seem to feverishly believe given the writings of your own blog. There are people I have met playing WoW I now consider “real life” friends. I have improved my time management and supervisory skills simply leading a guild. By writing this blog, I’ve found another outlet in which to hone my writing skills, something crucial to my major. All the while, I’ve enjoyed it, despite any minor complications. Furthermore, it is something that hasn’t consumed my every waking hour.

People who can’t grasp the positives others might obtain through this sort of gaming experience are just expressing personal opinion. I really don’t care if you personally think MMOs aren’t worth the investment. More power to you if you want to focus your time elsewhere. But all you seem to be doing here is raking the muck of the blogging world with outlandish straw man arguments that depict a gaming demographic stereotypically and vilify a genre with generalized typecasting.

Everyone is expected to do the best they can in life. But why should you care if they’re happy with what they do? No matter how trivial the enjoyment? Who cares if playing MMOs is something someone prefers over going for a doctorate. Maybe this person is content to live a middle class lifestyle and spend their time frivolously. Is it any different than someone who would rather spend their time at the movies every weekend instead of working on that dissertation they’ve found so frustrating to complete? Anything that can be reasoned in such a manner is fair game. It’s not your life to live. Let them live how they please.

The simple fact of the matter is that I don’t agree with you, nor do I appreciate you using my blog’s comment area as an advertisement space for blatant propaganda against something that has actually been a positive force in many people’s lives. Even if it has been a negative force for some, it is not the root of evil you make it out to be. People exhibiting their addictive or dependent personalities, be it through video games or drugs, is a serious issue and worth addressing. But not in the manner you seem to view as acceptable. Everyday, people make conscious decisions to play MMOs for good reasons. Only when the decision to continue playing them is unconscious should someone intervene. We should be treating the real cause: the addictive personality itself.

18 thoughts on “A Public Response: Stop Telling People How to Game

  1. Very well said Lume! I completely agree with you. I had a brief comment by this person, which seemed innocent enough until i noticed the “signature” in the comment, double linking. Kinda spammish in my book. The fact remains, it’s rather ignorant to rain on someone’s parade. Belated Happy Birthday and Happy Victory over KJ day:)

  2. *applause* Well said, Lume. I will never understand this urge some people have to proclaim to know better than everyone else how others should live their lives.

    And congratulations on downing KJ – I’m looking forward to seeing him once I hit 80 or 90 or so… ;-)

  3. Nothing to add really, I think you’ve put it all very well in your respons to this terrible aggressive commenter, trying to spoin your birthday and firstkill happiness. I just wanted to give you a bit of support.
    His advertising is so misdirected. And trust me I haven’t visitid his blog and I never will. Reading that crap here is more than enough.

    Don’t let yourself be dragged into some longgoing arguments with the guy. Next time he flames you in your own blog I think you’re perfectly entitled just do delete it.

  4. One thing that frustrates me about the common anti-raiding/anti-MMO arguments is that they really privilege certain RL activities over gaming, with the assumption that because they’re mainstream they’re better.

    Does it really matter if one’s feeling of ‘self-actualization’, to use this guy’s jargon, comes from a computer game, or some other hobby, or career success, or raising children? No. In the end, the person has a life that is satisfying and rewarding to them, and that’s far more important than the fact that their satisfying and rewarding hobby isn’t deemed worthy by the mainstream.

  5. Hear, hear!

    I, being the hard-assed SOB that I am, though, would have simply deleted your commenter’s comment after reading the words “private server.” Bad (i.e., invalid) way to make a point with me, but that’s how I roll.

    In any case, YOUR argument is excellent, well-reasoned, and valid.

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  7. For clarification, the primary reason I chose to respond to Cambios publicly was because the comments seemed to directly respond to entries of mine that were actually relevant to the comments he made. However, after reading Tuna’s blog, I realize he just copy-pasted those, as well. That equates to, well, spam.

    And after arguing with him, I think he’s nothing more than someone with an agenda who will do everything he can to further it. Even if it means taking things out of context and telling people how they think. For this reason, I regret bothering to give him a chance. And I certainly regret it went beyond my own blog.

    I still think it was worth the time to tell him to go away, however, and make a case for personal experiences and preferences. But he won’t see the light of day on my blog from here out. He doesn’t deserve the attention, and I wasn’t intending to give him more than he received. Sorry!

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  9. Very eloquently argued – great seeing this turned around so that it shows that we really are doing something instead of just staring at a bunch of pixels. There’s far more to the game than killing a boss, the boss just serves as a goal and a way of making things more tangible.

  10. Ugh, this guy Cambios sounds like a real downer. Let me just say, Lume, that I’m living proof that a person can raid 14 hours a week, finish their dissertation, and find a new job, all at the same time, and all without damaging the personal life. There’s a little thing called time management, and it lets human beings do whatever we value most in the time that we’ve got. But as others have said, you can’t argue with people like Cambios. We all know that WoW fits pretty well into a healthy lifestyle–just like any other hobby or leisure activity would!

  11. That guy is a total asshat. The best revenge is living well – I’m looking forward to hearing more about your accomplishments in WotLK.

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  13. He has a few okay points. But some of them are driven by prejudice and an isolated view created merely from his own personal experiences. He places us in one category defined purely by his own opinions. To him, all graphical MMO players only play for a “false sense of achievement.” He doesn’t respect the people who say they play merely because they enjoy it, nor accept the reasons why. He can’t respect that the sense of achievement some people obtain doesn’t supersede their other achievements in life, nor their simple enjoyment of the game. To him, it is only his views that determine what we get out of the game. And it is a psychological issue he doesn’t understand.

    Some of his points may be valid, but they are points that most of us MMO bloggers have already covered. So we don’t need a condescending bigot telling us about some of the problems with our games when we already recognize them. And we don’t need someone telling us we shouldn’t play those games if they have those problems. Especially when we’ve repeatedly said the positive points of the games are why we play them. No game is ever perfect, afterall, and most of us have played many other games to know what we prefer and what we don’t.

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