I can’t help it: I’ve had Game of Thrones on my mind the last week. As someone who discovered the books as a kid, I’ve been invested in George R.R. Martin’s world and characters for a long time, and as a fan and a writer, I’ve mostly been disappointed by this hurried and choppy final season and the show’s ultimate ending. Of course, it’s not exactly the first time pop media endings have disappointed me. MMOs disappoint me all the time, both in terms of their storytelling and in terms of the cavalier way some of them are simply abandoned by their creators. (One might say Game of Thrones was both.) The latter is more compelling to me: For example, I’m still pretty pissed off by the way TUG aka The Untitled Game disappeared off the face of the earth without so much as a farewell or explanation to backers. It’s an ending without closure. So today’s Daily Grind is two-fold, and you can feel free to answer one or the other or both: … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: What MMO had the most disappointing ending?
Daily grind book
In the comments of my piece on Raph Koster’s book last week, a commenter brought up the idea that mimicking the real world in MMOs was a “sad” sort of “obsession” – why would we want to work in a video game in our spare time, he was essentially asking, when we could do something fresh and creative with our video game spaces instead? I took a stab at answering the question, supposing that just because we can theoretically do a job in real life doesn’t mean we are realistically or physically able to do it, and exploration of the unreachable can be fun. A post on the Psychology of Video Games blog answers it even better: Author Jamie Madigan writes that games like Farming Simulator 17 and Euro Truck Simulator do so well precisely because people like to explore those types of jobs in a low-stress, who-cares-if-I-run-my-semi-off-the-virtual-autobahn environment. “These games remove the worst of the uncertainty, helplessness, ambiguity, and … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Do you prefer ‘work’ simulation MMOs to more fantastic game worlds?
As RPS reported this week, Valve has taken the relatively unusual step of making your Dota 2 and CSGO report cards semi-public – that is, players can see reports made against their accounts, and the rationales given, even if Valve took no action on them. The author was bemused to find that he’d been reported for “intentional feeding” when in fact, he just sucked that match. Hey, it happens. But I wonder whether the reports are useful to actual toxic players who’ve been actioned to teach them where they went wrong; it’s certainly an idea League of Legends clung to for years. MOP reader TomTurtle recently suggested something similar in terms of forum moderation too. “I’d like to see how viable it’d be to have moderators give an infractor a chance to edit their post to be constructive in an attempt to have them learn why their initial language was against the rules” in the service of “informing players why they were … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Does teaching toxic MMO gamers what they did wrong actually help?
A quote from legendary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro I saw on Twitter the other day is fast on the way to becoming my mantra. io9 transcribed a Q&A del Toro had with an audience there to hear about his book; someone asked him about the video games he played (apparently he’s making games now too). He listed off a ton of games from multiple genres, but apparently, he doesn’t care to finish everything. “He plays a ton of games, though he doesn’t finish anything he doesn’t like — and this holds true for books, film, whatever. ‘If it doesn’t engage me, I leave it,’ he said. ‘I do not do homework with my life.'” Oh hell yes. This! This! I freaking hate games that feel like homework, and MMOs can be egregious offenders. Consequently, I’ve tried a lot of the stuff I’ve bought on Steam, but I no longer feel an obligation to finish anything. If it wants me badly enough, it’ll keep me, I have no … [Read more...] about The Daily Grind: Do you feel an obligation to ‘finish’ the MMOs you start, even if it feels like ‘homework’?
Over the last couple of years, we’ve redoubled our efforts on our science-related articles, as you may have noticed from our roundups in 2016 and 2015. Last year, we even hired on a staff writer specifically to cover gaming science, especially as it relates to MMORPGs, and we’ve been collecting all of his work along with our other science posts in their very own category. Read on for a recap of our best science-related MMO articles from 2017, from EVE Online’s real-life hunt for exoplanets and the economics of MMO monetization to how lockboxes use psychology to manipulate us and the math behind the gamblebox phenom. Dr Richard Bartle even announced a new gamer matrix this year. Don’t worry; there won’t be a quiz at the end! Academics weigh in on ‘gaming addiction’ claims - We've previously discussed that according to the Manual of Mental Disorders and the industry standard Diagnostic and Statistical Manual … [Read more...] about A look back at the MMO and gaming science topics of 2017