Sunday, April 6, 2008

A cost you might not see coming with MMO's of today

In today's MMO's, there's a growing tendency to grab a player for many years, instead of a few months.

This can translate into a commitment that not many will feel following.

Eve is trained in real time, therefore to become a top player you will need several years of dedication instead of a quick rise. But players are adhering, as most of these MMO's are complex enough to keep the user interested.

But the real cost isn't the money you inject into them, as a subscription or depositing.

The real cost may be your own real life "avatar".

Some players manage to control themselves, but many of the top players spend their days inside a game, with small or little breaks between game sessions. This weakens their real life connections and awareness of the world outside the game.

You build up your connections inside the MMO world, thrive on business and become known.

When i played all day long, i gradually saw my real life acquaintances becoming more and more distant as i played. This kept going for so long, once i noticed, i was dedicating my entire time to MMO's.

Years passed and nowadays, somehow i feel strange by calling people that i haven't seen in ages because i let those connections wither. I do, and we get together, but something is different. You can feel the links weakened.

Even your real life rituals get affected. Food habits, going out, making acquaitances...

I then question how many MMO gamers like this are out there? Surely many. Do they feel the same way about spending so much time inside a virtual environment?

How do you feel?

I love this kind of games, and i'll continue playing them, but not as much as before. I have dedicated so much time into a place that i really enjoy, that i totally forgot about the rest.

And this i consider a huge cost, as time is not only money, but life is also short.

If you think you are playing too much, take a break. It will help put things in perspective and you will have time to think about how to balance gaming with the rest of your rituals.

It surely helped me get my people and stuff together.

Otherwise, you might wake up one day, and the world has left you behind, while you tried to become a top player in these new years-decade MMO's of today.

And that's the real cost.