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.