Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why oh Why?

"Why do you even play this game?"

It is quite a large sentence to contain only seven short words. It can be answered in so many ways. It can be asked in even more. It can be an expression of disgust insult or a bright eyed quest for information. It may be one of the hardest questions to answer and one of the easiest ones to respond to.

Dersen Lowery commented:
I wonder about people who profess a complete detachment from everything in game. If you aren't creating memories and narratives and making associations, then what are you doing? No activity is more fundamentally human than that.
I've often argued against Eve popular culture. My stubbornness caused me to embrace my own desires whenever what I did was questioned.  What is the point of having ISK if you do not spend it? That is a question so often asked to me. I want it. That is my answer and I need no other reason. The same goes for why do I play this game.

Because I want to.

But that, in itself, is not the true answer.

How can you fly a hauler? It's so boring!


Today I sent my freighter to Jita. I was selling some items that I had built and I planned to pick up a load of goods for TCS while I was up there. I manually flew until I was through Udema and then I let my autopilot pick up the last handful of jumps. I found myself in a caravan of auto-piloting haulers. Gigantic spaceships that we are, we dwarfed the ships around us as we ponderously approached the gate. Eve is a beautiful game and I have so many images captured as I warped across Empire space, trucking goods from one place to another.

If I were to ask someone why they played Eve if they didn't want to be a space-trucker, I'd be looked at as if I was insane. Yet, it is perfectly reasonable to others to ask me that question about the space trucking that I do as they wail and gnash their teeth because it is boring. Their whispered complaints that say, "It is not fun. It is not what I want to do. Why do you waste you time?"

I play Eve to build worlds. The world that I build may be my own. But, to build in a MMO is to build on the same street as other people. They may not live with you but they are your neighbors. They may not work with you but they too go to work. Perhaps you will pass each other on the street. Mayhaps you will see each other in the store.

I've come to love the world within world aspect of Eve. The people, the places, the things that happen, I find that I want to capture them and chronicled them and enjoy them as they happens. The brilliant joy of a challenge finally completed is exciting. I don't play for the meta game. I play for the moment. I play for those times that my Jaguar burns through the sky.

"Why do you even play this game?"

Oh, to the whispers that want to define everything their own way... I don't think we need a reason to play.  There need not be any goal. Those of us who wish said goals will create them in one form or another. But I believe that many people do wish to play and see what their game brings them. I may never be a major player of some huge alliance making news and driving the game. That, I suspect, is a good thing and a future that I do not mind facing.

9 comments:

  1. You know, I thought about leaving off that last line as overly judgmental and melodramatic, but now I'm glad I didn't.

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  2. I do so admire your independent spirit!

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    1. Oh it sucks a lot of the time. I wind up in all sorts of disagreements and get grumpy at jokes that should be funny. And I suck at social politeness when I think people are being jerks.

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    2. OTOH, it's probably the #1 reason I voted you on to CSM, behind only basic qualifications like "gets stuff done" and "communicates."

      It's a great trait in someone serving as a player representative, even more so because you're willing to go to the mat over it.

      As for jokes that "should be funny," I've heard enough of those to sympathize. The things that some people consider funny...

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    3. as one who has forever held a sense of humor that can at best be described as bent... not laughing at something that "should be funny" means it wasn't funny. at least to you on that day. Emotions aren't things that are set in stone, and something funny one day may make you brake down in tears the next.

      Maybe some day the world... or at least some unlucky sob's in eve will hear the airplane joke and understand why I was banned for 5 years from telling jokes at meetings for work.

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  3. The people who wail and gnash about how anyone could play miner/hauler/missioner and how those parts of the game should be nerfed/eliminated essentially want to have PvP themepark. They are the antithesis of sandbox gaming and yet they try to paint themselves as ultimate sandbox players. They are lying to themselves.

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  4. This is probably unwise as it reeks of self-promotion and I’ve irritated Sugar enough recently but the moment is too perfect to simply let it slip by. I too have been pondering the same question: http://mobilepartyinc.com/archives/1516

    Ignore the first section as that’s merely me banging the drum for corpmates (it’s my job).

    DireNecessity

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  5. While as a player you have the opportunity and freedom to not even think about why you play and you don't need a conscious reason to play that doesn't mean the reason doesn't exist. I agree that goal is not necessary. The reason can be the journey or experience on the way to a not really compelling goal.

    But if you opt-out of examining your reasons you also opt-out of giving vital information to the to the development process of the game. The voice of "I want to build worlds" gets drowned by "I want to ruin others game" if people who's reason is the first decide to say oblivious to their own motivations.

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