Friday, January 30, 2009

WoW vs. Real Life.

This is not about how you should go out and do other things instead of playing WoW. There are quite enough of those, and probably a good portion :

a) dont even play WoW
b) used to be addicted to WoW and are now on the freedom bandwagon

This is more about the things that you would do in WoW that you would never do in real life. There are some things that maybe some people would do, but many more that nobody would do. Let me go down the rundown and compare real life.

Questing: This is possibly the largest part of WoW. You talk to someone who looks like they need help (as noted by the exclamation point over their head) and get a task from them. Most of these consist of one of two types: Kill a bunch of this or gather a bunch of this. Now look at this in a real life perspective. You are walking down the street and some lady with a small dog stops you. She says "Pardon me sir....I was walking along and my dog crapped all down the street. If you clean it up I will give you 5 dollars, your choice of a used hankerchief, a stick of gum, half a snickers bar, and you will gain valuable life experience." I know that most people would probably reply with "Fvck off".

As for the second part. A man comes up to you in a diner and tells you the story about how his family was killed by gang members. He says he will give you some gold and some valuable life experience for the heads of 10 gang members. First thing is that despite the idea that the guy may be right, there are laws and you would go to jail. Also, where would you carry all of the heads? Most people arent carrying around 5 large dufflebags which leads me to......

Inventory: In WoW, not only do we kill stuff because someone asked us to, but we usually rob what ever we killed. This does not just include their personal belongings. It may include an eyeball from time to time, or a smashed snout. Would we find a dog on the side of the road and take its tail? Not unless you are a psychopath. Have you ever looked at the completly random things in your inventory? Pirate head x 4, rock fragments, moss, holy water, rusty sword, titanium ore, misc. gems, etc. etc. etc. In real life we would never carry around this kind of stuff (and even if we could, where would we fit it?) We cant put our car in our pocket when we are done driving it.

Raiding: We get all of our best gear together and we fight a big tough enemy to gain something that we desire. A real life example may be: There is a 6th grader who easily one shots any 3rd grader that comes near him and take his lunch money (aka repair bills). The 3rd grader gathers up 24 of his closest friends and beats up the 6th grader, taking back their milk money. In addition to the milk money, they take the 6th grader's Scooby Doo Lunch box and roll some dice to see who gets it. They come back to school the next day (after the 6th grader as reset) and do it again. Only this time, several of the 3rd graders have moved on to hang out with a group of 5th graders who beat up 8th graders. The 3rd graders bring in several kindergarten replacements who just cant hold their own. They get beat up by the 6th grader several times and all lose their lunch money. Afterwards, the 3rd graders blame the kindergarten kids and vice versa. They all then leave and are not friends anymore.

Food and Bodily Functions and needs: In real life, everyone needs to eat and drink or we die. In WoW, you need to eat to get big and strong....kinda like popeye. In real life, we have to go to the bathroom. In WoW, I have gone to the bathroom one time in four years.....and then they put the nuts back (ewwwwww). I real life, you dont have to take a shower, but nobody is going to want to be around you. In WoW, you just swim thru rivers and lakes and apparently that is good enough.

Professions: This is the part of WoW that usually most mirrors our own world. People make or gather items to sell and sustain their daily lives in WoW using the profits. The big difference is that beside the AH, there really is not big brother to police commerce. There is nothing stopping someone from starting a monopoly on a certain thing. There is no GM that comes down and says "You did not pay your taxes this year....we will be charging you triple. Pay or go to WoW jail (aka running Gnomeregan over and over with a bad pug).

Taking all of these things into account, you would have to be pretty messed up to legitimately get a video game confused with real life. Kids kill people and there are times when video games are blamed. This is simply not true. They are no more responsible than television, music, advertising, etc, etc, etc. Has anyone ever blamed the Opera for someone's death? That shit is depressing and people have probably commited suicide after one. The reason people bash video games is that most of them are middle aged and older people who never played a video game in their lives. They dont understand it and it is easier to blame something than to take the time to understand something. There will come a day when we are those middle aged people. We will know the difference between real life and a game.


Occeleta said...

I recently had a thought about that last bit recently. It all boils down money and failure to accept responsibility. Some people think they can just cash out by blaming the games. Others don't want to accept the fact that person was already messed up. Videogames are just easiest to point at because it's interactiveness. You don't see on the news some D&D player committed some atrocious act. Even though, in my mind, is worse. Videogames are just playing roles already set out, and recently are much more like movies. D&D players play out shit out of their own heads. I'm not trying call out D&D players, just stating an observation. As long as their violence there's always going to be scapegoat. When music industry was booming it was marilyn Manson, now that it's videogames it's GTA.

Darraxus said...

Exactly, and its all a bunch of bullshit. People who are fucked up now would have been fucked up before video games or TV.

Billy Wallace said...

I don't know about that. I didn't kill anybody until after I played Mario Bros. Then I just couldn't resist the urge to jump on peoples heads until they flattened.

Great post! It brightened up my morning. Especially the Opera part.

Ratshag said...

What the bugger fergots ta mention were that only one in three of them gang members what killed his family actually HAVE heads...

Darraxus said...

Yeah that too. If I kill 10 gang members, I better get 10 heads!!!! I want justice. If I were using a shotgun, I guess that would complicate things 0_0.

Kinzlayer said...

nah, he doesn't want the heads, you read that quest wrong... he wanted their nose, of which only 1 in 10 gang members will have for whatever gang related reasons. They also do not replenish their gang membership very fast so you have to sit there at their gang hideout for a few weeks to wait for them to recruit, 1 member at a time.

Funny Friday read.

Kusamoto said...

Hear, hear.

This is a cyclical issue, by the way. Games like WoW, GTA, Counterstrike, Halo, and Max Payne are to the 21st Century what death metal was to the 80s and Elvis was to the 50s. It is a popoular counterculture that threatens the existing social structure of the oligarchical assholes at the top of the food chain. When threatened, these scum-sucking bottom feeders, who are not exactly stupid, first attempt to discredit and defame the offending party (Elvis' hips, Satanic messages on Black Sabbath records played backwards, kids getting rl confused with video games and "runnin' with a meat cleaver, yo" on their parents or friends, etc.).

Failing that, they start widespread campaigns of generalized fear toward their constituent base that dupes them into taking more extreme measures (denying noise permits for Metallica for outdoor concerts, having cops on-site to arrest Elvis if he shook his hips so much as a millimeter during a show, denying consumers the right to purchase certain games because a group of hardly-objective, stogy members of the ruling class who happen to sit on the ESRB decide the content is "mature" or "violent).

Finally, in a fit of apoplexy, they turn to the courts in an attempt to bypass the will of the individual in favor of the violence of litigation, where they very often succeed. They do fail often enough, however, to make such a move an absolute last resort due to chance and cost, thankfully.

Look, I have 2 kids, a wife, bills, responsibilities, a high-profile finance job, have never been convicted or even accused of any felony, much less murder, and even if I was, I would certainly not blame the video games, music, TV, media, or my misused childhood. The people who do go out and commit premeditated murder and blame one or more of those things are simply using the medieval excuse of "the Devil made me do it" updated to modern technological standards in an attempt to shirk the consequences of their actions.

I play WoW. I used to run the West End Star Wars RPG once a week for abut 5 years. I travel all over the country to play the Legend of the Five Rings CCG competitively. If all that doesn't scream counterculture, I don't know what does. But my rl ALWAYS takes precedence over these things, and I can certainly recognize the difference. Not only that, but I've ALWAYS been able to recognize it. I didn't get "Joust" for the 7800 at age 7 and suddenly think I could go ride a rl Ostrich into battle against the evil Emu-riding Red Guys®. It's ridiculous and offensive to believe that the children you had and raised would suddenly be stupid enough to believe things they can do in a video game can be done in rl without consequence. And if they make the arguement, well, blame poor genetics; not neutral technology.

And even though I hurt no one in doing so, I am the enemy of these smug, self-satisfied, burgeouis upper-crust pricks who feel the need to trample on my right to choose my own future in the way I see fit because it may subtly disrupt their artifical habitat. The vox populi will have its vengeance, I say.

*stuffs Karl Marx back in the box* Sorry. Not sure how he got out.

Syrana said...

I didn't get "Joust" for the 7800 at age 7 and suddenly think I could go ride a rl Ostrich into battle against the evil Emu-riding Red Guys®.

That comment line made me giggle. Especially since the very people that would blame a video game would read that and think "that's ridiculous" and fail to see the connection of their ridiculousness.

Good post. Unfortunately, I'm often trying to debate and/or correct misinformed individuals I know when they start to talk trash about games. Most interesting part? Their first response is usually, "I didn't know you played..."