Sometimes I wish I had a hearthstone. Click and GO.
Warning: This is NOT a complaining post. This is an observational post. Go to trade chat is you want to be trolled. Thank you. That is all.
Who’s game is it, anyway?
Is it the marketers, the makers, or the candle stick you-no-takers? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, more than I probably should. There’s the muddy sensation of when you know something began, and the feeling repeats itself when something feels like an ending. You know something happened, you’re doing it, and you know when it’s time to start distancing yourself.
I think about Azeroth at the weirdest times, and in a strange way. When I’m actually playing I’m somewhat bored, or edgy. But when I’m not playing, it resides in a beautiful room of memory in a manifestation that I am not sure I ever truly experienced. I know this is a weak explanation, but it’s temporal, ephemeral, and painted in colors more rich, more dreamlike. Maybe that is the essence of why so many people play for years. It’s like a good dream that you can remember and touch.
When I watched this documentary last night, catching it after two-thirds of the way in, I was hooked. The story of Walter Warshaw struck me to my soul. I felt like I know this man: full of genius, hubris, and anything is possible, only to be fed to the wolves. But this wasn’t just his story: one man being interviewed said those initial games made you feel good, like you could do something, even if you were bad at sports. I get that. (What was I “bad” at when I was a teenage girl? Same things I’m bad at now, I suppose.) And Atari paved the way for that sense of success in a game: no trolls, no internet meanness, no dungeon masters trying to control your play. I think the most I ever played was Pong, and once in awhile allowed video arcades to take my hard-earned babysitting quarters, but I was never much good. But I looked at the near Israelite-exodus-mana-from-heaven group that showed up for the unearthing of their Loch Ness, their chupacabra, Big Foot drinking out of the Holy Grail, and I thought to myself, “I have nothing in common with them.” (Except for maybe Earnest Cline. But even he tries a bit too hard.) I would no more stand in a New Mexican landfill waiting for any remnant of my childhood than give myself a reverse wedgie. (Don’t know what a reverse wedgie is? I just made that up the other day. It’s when the elastic goes out of your panties and it rolls downward, causing embarrassment and silliness.)
Here’s what I think: if anyone has been playing and paying for WoW longer than two expansions, any and all expansions need to be accessible. I think any dungeon, any battleground, etc. needs to have a solo option, even at level. When I took my lovely paladin Kellaen to Utgarde, the warrior, per standard warrior behavior, was tanking, and not even trying to allow me to lead. I warned. And then I left. This is what I got:
I don’t think Warlords or any WoW expansion is going to end up in the Alamogordo Landfill any time soon. We players have forgiven Blizzard time and again, and constant resurrections and washing away of all sins. The main difference with Atari and any MMO is the stranger danger.
The other day I brought in treats to some young squires and damsels, including expensive orange juice and apple strudels. One young damsel, who has a streak of being rude, told me in a snotty voice that I should have brought milk instead. At that moment, my dream game and my real retributive self merged, and If there is a real showing of wrath and holy light filling one stressed-out adult female, that young damsel was truly smote and blinded by the power of light that shone upon her, and she knows from henceforth to just say “Thank you” if someone does something nice for you.
I highly recommend watching that Atari documentary, and if you get the chance watch Ridley Scott’s version of the Ten Commandments called Exodus.. Not sure how or if Christian Bale pulled off Moses, but God is awesome. Like Scott’s metaphor for that manifestation of Old Testament petulance. And, while you’re at it, Big Eyes by Tim Burton. Who’s art is it, anyway?