Five or six years ago I went to a sake-tasting event in San Francisco called “The Joy of Sake”. About 140 sakes. In a few hours I became such a sake connoisseur that the sake I could afford — and used to buy regularly — I now despised. The only sake I now liked was so expensive ($80/bottle) that I never bought another bottle of sake.
— Seth Roberts
What was revelatory for me at one point was that there were people who thought of themselves not as gamers, not as MMO gamers, but as WoW players. They are not interested in the genre, in seeing competing implementations, in the next MMO coming out… They just play WoW. Hardcore or casual, this is their game, done, the way some people are baseball or football fans (a perspective that had not occurred to me until I typed it, which suddenly makes “one game” make a lot more sense, although most seem to be “sports fans” who need a group of sports to make it through the other seasons).
Today I find myself wondering if my recent blasé with the MMO world is a result of becoming familiar with too many different ways of doing things in MMOs. No matter what game I am playing, at least half the features will have been done better somewhere else, and the failings of individual games and the entire genre stand silhouetted. Maybe if I did not know better, getting another boss further in the latest raid tier would be fulling absorbing entertainment. But that seems like a critical failure of fun theory.
I am not saying that WoW is a bad game. I’m more saying that if you have never played/studied EVE, you do not know how a game economy (and economic tools) could work; if you have never played A Tale in the Desert, your crafting ideas are probably disgustingly limited; if you are not familiar with WoW, you are probably willfully putting up with the far shoddier implementation that is so common in MMOs. And what has seen cannot be unseen.
[Hello Seth Roberts readers! Pork belly is in the fridge, flaxseed oil (capsules, not fresh) is in the pantry, and we have some lovely videos of faces on the DVD rack.]