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  Topic: Computers, Gaming, The Interwebz, We've been outed. Time to think.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,05:10   

Dear Everyone,

A discussion about World of Warcraft has, in the last few days, occurred on a few threads. I reckon that it can raise some specific and general areas of interest. Or at least it does for me, and since you dear people have often been my online sounding board, I'll bug you again! I'll kick off with WoW and see where this goes. Apologies for rambling-ness.

I've been playing WoW for a few hours a week for about 7 months now. I only play WoW, I have barely enough time for that, and certainly am not a "gamer" in the sense that I have consoles and play multiple games etc. I freely admit it could be seen to be a massive waste of time, but my shallow, tawdry and entirely transparent self-justification is I play late at night when I can't sleep and I only play this one game. Since I get by on 4 to 5 hours sleep a night at most, it's all good. And given the "young kid in the house" thingy, my social life is....what was the word...oh yes...screwed! I've traded that time for the time I spent watching TV or trying to read something light and brainless to get me to sleep. I still read too much, but my Amazon bill has decreased noticeably! And with no* money going on beer, crack and hookers, I'm good! Enough comedy justification.

Actually, in all seriousness I find the general social attitude to computer games and gaming itself to be rather interesting. When I started playing WoW in February I thought I'd level a character, do a few quests and that would be it, game over, quit, move on. I thought the idea of actually interacting with people online (given various experiences) would be utterly obnoxious, and sometimes it is, but the raiding (forming a group of 10 or 25 people to kill bigger/harder bosses) is actually very engaging.

I have one max level raiding character and one alternative character that is no way near the max level (and I play him about once a month if I'm lucky). Most people I know have several top level characters ready to raid and they have developed these characters over the ~7 years that WoW has been out. The time investment is not insignificant. The attitude I encounter most frequently is that anyone who is "lower" down the scale than you (so lower level, non-raiding, badly equipped, fewer alt characters etc) is a "noob" and anyone "higher" up the scale than you (higher level/many high level alts, raiders, better equipped etc) is a "no-lifer". This attitude extends into the "real world" with people who don't play games generally espousing the (wholly inaccurate) stereotype of the "gamer" (unhealthy, basement dwelling, socially inept etc) as being representative of anyone who games more than they do (from 0 on up!).

Mock me if you must, but I find these attitudes as fascinating as I find other aspects of the game. Where has this hatred, and it is hatred, of enthusiastic gamers/computer users come from? The same stereotype is levelled at people who spend time on any computer based activity that differs from some perceived "norm". Perhaps this is simply a cultural/generational thing, one that varies in the USA, but here in the UK the prevalent attitude I see in the media and talking with friends (I'm a closeted WoW player!) is that anyone who spends more time on the internet, especially in a MMORPG, than they do is somehow suspect.

These attitudes persist even given the popularity and ubiquity of Facebook and other social media. However, I think the link stuff at the link Oldman mentions in the other thread might be a clue as to why. At least partially. The compelling, time intense nature of an MMORPG for example can be disturbing. However, from what I've read, gamers/internet users do not conform to the stereotype given, but actually are perfectly normal folk in general enjoying their chosen hobby. I'm no social scientist, but a quick google turned up this Nielsen survey. I haven't had a chance to critique its methods/findings yet.

Not only that, but my experience in WoW has had some generally very positive social benefits. I ran a guild briefly, before I started raiding, and all of the techniques, tricks, habits etc I use in the day to day management of my real job and team of people apply in the game. It's interesting to play with those management tools in a relatively consequence free zone and see the feedback. It has genuinely improved my real life management (if only by eliminating some of the whackier ideas I've had as being unworkable!). It takes a ferocious amount of organisation to get 25 people to be prepared, on time etc in a game over the internet. Especially that the usual carrots and sticks don't apply. No one's getting paid, the consequences of being "fired" are minimal etc.

Expand it from WoW and gaming. I've been commenting here at AtBC for about 6 years, and at TO before that for a further 7 or so, actually it's probably more than that! I didn't "get into" the internet until I was in my mid 20s, shrugging it off as the (stereotypical) province of people unlike myself and uninteresting! How wrong I was! In that time I have been forced, by virtue of engaging in arguments, to learn a lot more about biology than I originally knew, to learn a bit about economics and social science, to read philosophy and theology and so on and so forth. Between the age of 26 and 36, i.e. this last decade, my politics have changed from vaguely unthinking UK conservative to what can only be termed by even UK standards "extremely liberal left" (by USA standards I probably a combination of Satan, Stalin and something you've never heard of ;-) ). I've challenged my own culturally inherited homophobia, misogyny and other prejudices, all because the internet has expanded, rather than ossified, my intellectual horizons. In other words, for me, whatever negatives there are, my internet usage (gaming included) has been a massive net benefit.

I strongly suspect that gaming/internet usage is, in all seriousness, like any other hobby: harmless to a point. If you're spending an affordable portion of your time and resources on this hobby, and it harms no one in any significant way, then go to it. Like any thing from alcohol to zither playing, engaging in a sensible manner, balanced with the rest of one's life, seems to be the main way to assuage the more hysterical, media whipped hysteria surrounding these things. But hey, if any of you wise folk know better, let me know!

TL;DR version:

a) Anecdotally at least, there appears to be a moderate social stigma around computer gaming/based activity (even though it can be a very productive, social activity) which centres around themes of the antisocial nature of the players, various undesirable attributes claimed for the players (themed on laziness, indolence, poor health consequences etc). That stigma has been to some degree internalised into gaming/online attitudes as some form of hierarchy.

b) The demographics of gaming/internet usage appear (at least initially) to contradict the stereotype.

c) Anecdotally at least, it is possible to get great positive benefit from gaming/internet usage, above and beyond the mere hobby derived enjoyment of the pursuit.

Go, discuss!

Louis

*Okay, almost no money. Well, very little money. Not so much as you'd notice. Barely 90% of my salary. A pittance.

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Bye.

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3304
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,07:11   

I enjoy gaming... a lot.  I've been a player of games all my life.  I was playing strategic wargames with my dad before I understood what a tank was.  (He quit when I started winning.)

My problem is that I have an addictive personality.  I know this and I know how involved I can get in these types of long term games.  It's pretty frightening.  I finally had to swear off of long term games on facebook because of the efforts I was putting into them.

Now, I just play an hour or two every other night on the X-box.  That, I can just turn off and walk away.  It's much more difficult for me to walk away from a persistent game.

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:14   

Interesting post as usual, Louis.

I have been playing games for well over 30 years at this point and I'm now in my mid-40s. I was a professional game reviewer at one point (for about a year and half) for an online game site (Adrenaline Vault) and I've been an amateur game designer for some 15 or so years. I actually did a little work with (and became quite good friends with) Gary Gygax for those who recognize the name. I've taken courses and lead discussions on game theory, behavior modification, social behavioral mechanics, consumer behavior, and the like. I also build (and just did so again last weekend) specifically spec'd game machines.

In short, I really enjoy games, particularly (though not exclusively) role-based/story-based gaming.

In my review days, I played all manner of games - real-time strategic war games, arcade-style, CRPGs, MMOs, FPS, flight sims, social interaction sims, turn-based tactical, resource management, etc. I particular like games that allow a number of solutions to given problems and give the player a greater sense of being involved in the outcome of the game.

In my experience, the social stigma of gaming, particularly table top, pencil and paper role playing and computer, particularly MMO-type games has significantly decreased over the last decade. When I began gaming in the 70s, the view was that only completely social outcasts engage in such. Now, particularly with the advent of WoW, the access to and the adoption of gaming as a leisure activity has increased across a wide swath of different people. As such, I don't find the same reactions I used to when I tell folks - say at some social gathering like a wedding reception or what-have-you - that I game. In fact, more times than not, I get a number of questions about the hobby - what games do I play, what do I like, what do I think is good and what I recommend for someone who likes X, what kind of computer should I look for to play Y, etc. There are more people into games now, and there are a whole plethora of different kinds of games to appeal to a variety of tastes, so it seems that the number of folks who play absolutely no games is shrinking.

To be sure though, within the gaming community there are folks who see gaming differently from one another. In Lord of the Rings Online (one of the games I play) there's a culture of "hardcore gamers" vs "casual gamers". These, I feel, are very poor categorizations for the different approaches to gaming, but be that as it may, it's quite interesting to read the arguments based on perceived inequities. It is particularly interesting to look at the discussion points from the perspective of a game designer; I have no idea how I'd even begin to approach attempting to reconcile some of the perceived issues between these two groups. I'm glad I don't have to.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2121
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:17   

It's digital SCA without the tin-bashing and all that annoying character research. ;-}

The closest I ever came to online gaming was network DOOM with my brother, who clobbered me.  Lately I've been playing the Fallout 3 series on the PS3 my angel just got me. She likes to watch, which I find odd.

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"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:22   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Sep. 08 2011,13:11)
I enjoy gaming... a lot.  I've been a player of games all my life.  I was playing strategic wargames with my dad before I understood what a tank was.  (He quit when I started winning.)

My problem is that I have an addictive personality.  I know this and I know how involved I can get in these types of long term games.  It's pretty frightening.  I finally had to swear off of long term games on facebook because of the efforts I was putting into them.

Now, I just play an hour or two every other night on the X-box.  That, I can just turn off and walk away.  It's much more difficult for me to walk away from a persistent game.

Yeah, as Oldman linked, there are some genuine psychological hooks in these games and you're correct, for the right person these hooks are powerful.

I don't know you well enough to know if "addictive personality" is the term I'd use, but taking WoW as an example, it's highly goal directed, relatively complex (if you get into raiding and maximising your performance), each goal is just over the horizon, it's social and so on. I'd guess that these things appeal to almost any achieving, intelligent person.

It seems that if these things caused you problems then walking away is the right decision for you. Each person's individual balance point is theirs to determine. I'm the other way, if I bought an X-box I'd play THAT sort of thing far too much. At least playing WoW I can watch TV at the same time! (My WoW playing evolved from hating to simply watch TV. I used to always read and watch TV at the same time, I hate just sitting there watching TV. Can't do it.)

Louis

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Bye.

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3304
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:24   

Quote (Robin @ Sep. 08 2011,08:14)
To be sure though, within the gaming community there are folks who see gaming differently from one another. In Lord of the Rings Online (one of the games I play) there's a culture of "hardcore gamers" vs "casual gamers". These, I feel, are very poor categorizations for the different approaches to gaming, but be that as it may, it's quite interesting to read the arguments based on perceived inequities. It is particularly interesting to look at the discussion points from the perspective of a game designer; I have no idea how I'd even begin to approach attempting to reconcile some of the perceived issues between these two groups. I'm glad I don't have to.

This is why I quit all the facebook games and don't even really want to get into WoW, LOTR, or Star Wars: TOR.

There is a very wide discrepancy between the casual player and the hardcore player.  

In facebook games (CastleAge, the CasualCommunity games, etc), the 'best' player is the one willing to spend money and significant amounts of time to level up.  There's almost no way that a working parent can compete with a college student who can check in to the game for five minutes every hour.  

Combine that with the ability to pay real money to level up and you get a very fast discrepancy and one that results in the hardcore beating the crap out of the casual.  There are systems in place to stop this (you can only attack PvP within ten levels of your own level or whatever), but it really kills the social aspect of the game.  

When the guy you're mentoring passes you in all attributes in a month when you've been working for almost a year, it can be quite depressing.

I don't know how MMORPGs do it.  And the one thing that I don't like about those is, in spite of the multi-player aspect, it is the same missions and quests for everyone.  Go here, do this, get item.  

I think it would be much more interesting to have a game where quests and items and such were one shot.  If you needed an item, then you have to find out who has it and get it from them (ethically or not).  It would make for more realism.

But that's just me.

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4484
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:26   

I like the idea of computer games, and find the entwined history of the development of computer science and gaming fascinating. But I pretty much gave up on participating in any complex computer game a long time ago. Right now, I'm refreshing my archive of 10+ year CDs of acoustic data from dolphin research. I've got all sorts of pending papers to write and web things to get moving. And then there's the usual make-enough-money-to-pay-the-bills-so-I-don't-end-up-on-the-street thing, plus the fixing-up of the fixer-upper of a house we got.

I do envy those who can balance work and play better than I've managed.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:36   

Quote (OgreMkV @ Sep. 08 2011,08:24)

I think it would be much more interesting to have a game where quests and items and such were one shot.  If you needed an item, then you have to find out who has it and get it from them (ethically or not).  It would make for more realism.

But that's just me.

That would be Eve Online.  Be warned though - if you try it, just remember the adage about being careful about what you wish for...

OTOH, Eve does require a bit more commitment (to compete on any level) than things like WoW and Lotro, so that may curb your enthusiasm right there.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:36   

I started D&D gaming around 1977 (IIRC). It was just before Gygax filed copyrights. A year or two before that, the first ever 'gamer' I met was a young submarine sailer. He traveled with a briefcase filled with dice, miniatures, attack tables, and character sheets. He launched into a long soliloquy about the life histories of his characters. I thought he was crazy. Now I would not.

In 1972, we played "Startrek" on the PDP 10. The system operators periodically deleted all the files they could find. I have played dozens of computer RPGs starting with Zork, and "Wizardry" around 1983. I am now a confirmed Elder Scrolls addict. I am afraid to think how many hours I have spent. When the new edition is released this November, I expect I'll be off-line (except to game forums) for a week or two.

I have never found playing in an on-line MUD satisfactory. I have tried a few- not WoW however.

Edited by Dr.GH on Sep. 08 2011,06:39

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:48   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Sep. 08 2011,08:36)
In 1972, we played "Startrek" on the PDP 10. The system operators periodically deleted all the files they could find. I have played dozens of computer RPGs starting with Zork, and "Wizardry" around 1983. I am now a confirmed Elder Scrolls addict. I am afraid to think how many hours I have spent. When the new edition is released this November, I expect I'll be off-line (except to game forums) for a week or two.

I have never found playing in an on-line MUD satisfactory. I have tried a few- not WoW however.

The Elder Scrolls series is, imho, quite well done. I was not a huge fan of Daggerfall or Morrowwind (though I must say they were quite good for their time), but Oblivion is excellent. Looking forward to their next installment.

And if you like these games, I would recommend a peek at Lotro. It's free to play now, so you can do so without a lot of commitment. Turbine did a fair job attempting to faithfully render Middle-earth. Not perfect if you know the literature well, but some of the compromises are arguably necessary to create a playable world. It's not bad. The vast majority of the game is PvE (player vs environment) and quite casual. If nothing else, if you even remotely enjoyed the books or movies, it's worth generating a character and taking a look at the Shire.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,08:52   

You guys might like this article then. Gives a good insight on some MMORPG mechanics, and the dick moves that can result.

I used to play WoW and Rapelz a while back, tried a few instances of Guild Wars, Freelancer Online and the FB Glory of Rome game. I get frustrated quite fast with PvP. Too many assholes online. Nowadays I stick mainly to flight simulators and Plants Vs Zombies. Oh, and Lemmings! Some guy put a playable version of the first edition online.

Wes, let us know when you find out those dolphin recordings say "so long and thanks for all the fish". Might be of interest...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:00   

BWAHAHA!!! Ogre has just started a game of Castle Age on FB. Well done Louis, you've corrupted another one to the evil hands of online gaming!






I am checking that LOTRO Robin was talking about...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:01   

Quote (Robin @ Sep. 08 2011,14:14)
[SNIP]

To be sure though, within the gaming community there are folks who see gaming differently from one another. In Lord of the Rings Online (one of the games I play) there's a culture of "hardcore gamers" vs "casual gamers". These, I feel, are very poor categorizations for the different approaches to gaming, but be that as it may, it's quite interesting to read the arguments based on perceived inequities. It is particularly interesting to look at the discussion points from the perspective of a game designer; I have no idea how I'd even begin to approach attempting to reconcile some of the perceived issues between these two groups. I'm glad I don't have to.

Cheers Robin!

Hardcore vs Casual. Ahhh yes. I saw a good definition of this and wrote a post about it on a former guild forum:

 
Quote
Casual vs Hardcore/Progression definitions:

I said last night I'd try to clarify what I mean here. Well, I think Lore from the Tankspot videos (The Weekly Marmot and PST etc) puts it pretty well. Watch the vids for yourself here,
here, and at 10:17 here.

The general idea is that for a "casual" player their real life schedule is what determines how and when they play the game. To some extent that is all of us, so I'll clarify. The "casual" player plans their game time around their life. The "casual" player will fit WoW around other things. I think Lore makes another thing very clear, a "casual" player is NOT bad at the game or unwilling to put the time in to sort their rotation out/do raid research etc.

The "hardcore" player fits their real life schedule around WoW to some extent. I.e. the "hardcore" player will say "on Monday between 8pm and 11pm I am raiding, not doing X, Y or Z". Notice that in neither definition have I said anything about player skill.


There is (as always) loads more, and it was a set of posts designed to encourage people to form a specific type of raid team, most of which is irrelevant. But I did like the hardcore/casual distinction made with respect to how people manage and assign time, as opposed to hardcore meaning a variety of different things like being good at the game, having lots of alts, length of time played, being willing to sacrifice weeks to the game etc. I think the gaming community needs better words, clearer distinctions and a less polarised understanding of what it means to be "hardcore" or not.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Wolfhound



Posts: 468
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:14   

Good on you for starting this topic.  I'll have to be VERY brief since I really need to haul my ass to the gym (so much for the stereotypical female online gamer as I am far from being a fat, ugly loser with a terrible complexion (although I do partake in the ocassional Hot Pocket and have pasty white skin))

D&D/GURPS since 1984, computer games since 1982 (Sierra Online graphic adventures/Zork/Ultima etc), BBS games such as "Tradewars" back in 1992, started playing Ultima Online in 1997/98 and quickly dumped it because insanely jealous control freak ex fiance was afraid I'd meet men online and have sex with them (he wasn't far offbase since I'd met HIM online, the git).  Accepted the crack sample back in July of 2009 (FREE 10 DAY WoW TRIAL!!11!!), sucked Deadman in back in October of 2009 (teh fool!) and here we are.

Now, off to sweat!  Then WoW!

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I've found my personality to be an effective form of birth control.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:15   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 08 2011,14:26)
I like the idea of computer games, and find the entwined history of the development of computer science and gaming fascinating. But I pretty much gave up on participating in any complex computer game a long time ago. Right now, I'm refreshing my archive of 10+ year CDs of acoustic data from dolphin research. I've got all sorts of pending papers to write and web things to get moving. And then there's the usual make-enough-money-to-pay-the-bills-so-I-don't-end-up-on-the-street thing, plus the fixing-up of the fixer-upper of a house we got.

I do envy those who can balance work and play better than I've managed.

Maybe we haven't managed it!

In all seriousness, just a few months before I started playing WoW, there was no way I could have done it. I was commuting ~4 hours in total every day (as was my wife. Yes scientific careers in the UK are screwed) and and working from 7am (when I arrived at work) to about 10pm (when I left). I'm "lucky"* to be in a different job with much less commuting (30 mins) and less intense work requirements at the moment, although it's a slightly lower paying, less stable job than the Big Pharma job before was.

For me, this is a phase. It's an indulgence I can afford for a while. It serves as a pleasant aside from sorting out my filing cabinets of papers/journals...a job that has been going on for a while. Procrastination: I can haz it! Playing any sort of game is, for me at least, unsustainable. My career situation is sufficiently likely to change in the near future that it can't be anything else.

Louis

*I loved that damned job, even though it was insanely hard work. Just like I loved the hard work of the PhD/postdoc before it. The idea that trying to play competitive WoW is a deliberate, compensatory (easy?) time sink has occurred to me!

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:23   

Quote (Wolfhound @ Sep. 08 2011,15:14)
Good on you for starting this topic.  I'll have to be VERY brief since I really need to haul my ass to the gym (so much for the stereotypical female online gamer as I am far from being a fat, ugly loser with a terrible complexion (although I do partake in the ocassional Hot Pocket and have pasty white skin))

D&D/GURPS since 1984, computer games since 1982 (Sierra Online graphic adventures/Zork/Ultima etc), BBS games such as "Tradewars" back in 1992, started playing Ultima Online in 1997/98 and quickly dumped it because insanely jealous control freak ex fiance was afraid I'd meet men online and have sex with them (he wasn't far offbase since I'd met HIM online, the git).  Accepted the crack sample back in July of 2009 (FREE 10 DAY WoW TRIAL!!11!!), sucked Deadman in back in October of 2009 (teh fool!) and here we are.

Now, off to sweat!  Then WoW!

Well I *DO* need to lose weight, but since I'm in the gym 3 (early) mornings a week now and on both days of the weekend, it's more of a "less Baconaters"* situation! All my weight was due to working too hard and utterly neglecting a proper diet/regime after slowing down on sports played as a kid/student/mid 20-something. I kept up the eating and drinking of a rugby player and skipped the rugby. I needed to lose weight before I started playing WoW! Does that mean I fit the stereotype or not? I'm certainly not pasty or spotty! Dear FSM no!

The irony for me was I was very fit, never touched computers for pleasure** and scorned them utterly as the lard inducing sedentary vortices that the stereotypes claim them to be. I then, whilst maintaining my distance from all things computer, garnered an impressive lardiness despite knowing what not to do (and what TO do), and it's only now that I use computers more that I am shifting that lard and sorting myself out. Oh the Fates they do laugh at we humans!

Louis

*Addictive personality? Food, definitely my weakness. I can give almost anything else up easier than others might imagine. But food, lots of it, and good quality. Erm, yeah. Big Achilles' Heel. As for the gym stuff, there's a great Louis CK joke which runs roughly "I have to run 5 miles a day to keep a body this shitty". I know how he feels!

**Steady!

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Bye.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:34   

just checking in, I loved Oregon Trail and I still play it like every day all day long.  Also Brick Out and Karateka.  I don't know what the hell the rest of you are talking about

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
fusilier



Posts: 209
Joined: Feb. 2003

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:40   

If any of you ever run into a ShadowRun character (female) with an "Aware" Damascus-steel scalping knife and matching canoe hatchet - that's Daughter #2.  Be very careful, she was taught to use 'em (IRL!) by a Shawnee shaman that we met at a reenactment

I started board gaming in about '65 or '66 - the old Avalon Hill titles like Jutland.  (I always loved the design of the HMS Rodney - used it for my flagship most games.)

Graduated to RPGing in '75 when I was in grad school at Illinois State University.  Game Designers' Workshop was upstairs over the Maid-Rite sandwich and ice-cream shop on Main St. where I playtested a few with Marc Miller taking notes like a maniac.

I played Traveller for almost a decade, until Daughter #1 came along in '82.  Her husband is an on-line gamer - but she participated from the time she was 4 months old.  (Great Distraction when GM'ing, in her carryalong.)

I would point out that Level 99 Elvish Mage or not, when a  Solomani Confederation Marine private triggers her FGMP-14, the target vaporizes.

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fusilier
James 2:24

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1956
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:48   

I'll take a look at lotR.

I actually get more of a kick playing Morrowind. I particularly like killing Vivec, and Almalexia as soon as possible, or alternately try to ignore they exist for as long as possible. I would really like it if there was a mod that allowed Dagoth Ur to 'win."

I haven't done any mod writing myself, but have played a few.

Oblivion is so much more scripted that I started using community mods almost immediately.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:51   

Did I mention my band's illustrator (Gonzalo "Genzo" Ordonez Arias) is an illustrator for the WoW trading cards game? Why didn't I brag about that...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,09:55   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 08 2011,09:34)
just checking in, I loved Oregon Trail and I still play it like every day all day long.  Also Brick Out and Karateka.  I don't know what the hell the rest of you are talking about

Whippersnapper!!!  Stay offa my lawn!!!!

The last video game I played was Moria, which used text graphics.



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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,10:06   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 08 2011,15:55)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 08 2011,09:34)
just checking in, I loved Oregon Trail and I still play it like every day all day long.  Also Brick Out and Karateka.  I don't know what the hell the rest of you are talking about

Whippersnapper!!!  Stay offa my lawn!!!!

The last video game I played was Moria, which used text graphics.


I should point out the all the computing I have been referring to, gaming or otherwise, has been done by me on an abacus.

Made of stone.

Old stone.

Louis

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Bye.

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,10:19   

Give this a go perhaps: http://www.warhammeronline.com/....ine.com

Much much better then WoW if you are into PvP. And it's free to play and the quest setup is so much better - public quests are constantly ongoing and you just walk up to them to join in.

And the end-game is great. I'm not playing at the moment, played it alot a couple of months ago and that did me for now. But if you like your PvP.....

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,10:22   

I tried Warhammer Online, and was a bit disatisfied. I am a longtime player of WH 40K and WH Epic on tabletop. Also Manowar <3

I've taken a good look at Robin's LOTRO, and I'm less than impressed with the engine and graphics. I won't spend anytime on that.

I guess it's back to Plants Vs Zombies for me...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,10:24   

Quote (Louis @ Sep. 08 2011,10:06)
I should point out the all the computing I have been referring to, gaming or otherwise, has been done by me on an abacus.

Now why did you have to go and bring Phil Collins into this?

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10118
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,10:40   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Sep. 08 2011,09:48)
I'll take a look at lotR.

I actually get more of a kick playing Morrowind. I particularly like killing Vivec, and Almalexia as soon as possible, or alternately try to ignore they exist for as long as possible. I would really like it if there was a mod that allowed Dagoth Ur to 'win."

I haven't done any mod writing myself, but have played a few.

Oblivion is so much more scripted that I started using community mods almost immediately.

Try the fallout series - same engine but set in a post apocalyptic world. Very immersive.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
JLT



Posts: 740
Joined: Jan. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,12:35   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Sep. 08 2011,15:55)
 
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 08 2011,09:34)
just checking in, I loved Oregon Trail and I still play it like every day all day long.  Also Brick Out and Karateka.  I don't know what the hell the rest of you are talking about

Whippersnapper!!!  Stay offa my lawn!!!!

The last video game I played was Moria, which used text graphics.


Well, then I have the perfect game for you: Dwarf Fortress (it's free, too!). The tileset included in the game consists mainly of ASCII characters.

In Dwarf fortress, you start out with 7 dwarves in a randomly generated world and your goal is to defend your (if you're good at it) ever growing dwarf population from all kinds of enemies, create enough food, and more importantly, all kinds of alcoholic drinks for your dwarves (they need alcohol to get through their working day, without it they become depressed; if it's really bad, they can go berserk and start killing other dwarves), and get rich in the process.
It is a construction and managment simulation, so you don't control single dwarves but built certain stuff, train dwarves in needed skills, and give certain work orders, and then watch it play out or fail terribly. Which is actually far more likely then not. The game is incredibly complex, e.g. if a dwarf is hurt in combat, these are (some of) the things that determine what happens to him:
- where was he hit and with what (the game distinguishes several body parts, down to a broken toe, for example)
- depending on the wound, he needs to be treated by a doctor: needs cleaning, dressing, suture, and/or a cast, which different types of material needed
- depending on the training of the doctor, that works or not; the patient can get an infection, too.
- depending on the wounded dwarf, the wound heals faster or slower, or he's more or less likely to get an infection.

The game has (mostly) accurate water physics, and you can built machinery using water power to operate. The calculations necessary for that can seriously slow your computer down. The same goes for lava. The game calculates the temperature and wetness of every stone ...

A NYT article about DF: http://www.nytimes.com/2011.......ted=all

If anyone is interested in DF:
A good tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....25RPtvM
(Required; this game is NOT self-explanatory. Not at all.)
Lazy Newb Pack (contains alternative tilesets, some additional software): http://www.bay12forums.com/smf........59026.0
DF wiki (You'll need that, too): http://df.magmawiki.com/....iki....iki.com

And always remember: Losing is FUN!


P.S.: But I never play computer games, so I don't really have anything to contribute to this thread. Honestly.

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"Random mutations, if they are truly random, will affect, and potentially damage, any aspect of the organism, [...]
Thus, a realistic [computer] simulation [of evolution] would allow the program, OS, and hardware to be affected in a random fashion." GilDodgen, Frilly shirt owner

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,12:48   

Quote (Louis @ Sep. 08 2011,09:01)
Hardcore vs Casual. Ahhh yes. I saw a good definition of this and wrote a post about it on a former guild forum:

   
Quote
Casual vs Hardcore/Progression definitions:

I said last night I'd try to clarify what I mean here. Well, I think Lore from the Tankspot videos (The Weekly Marmot and PST etc) puts it pretty well. Watch the vids for yourself here,
here, and at 10:17 here.

The general idea is that for a "casual" player their real life schedule is what determines how and when they play the game. To some extent that is all of us, so I'll clarify. The "casual" player plans their game time around their life. The "casual" player will fit WoW around other things. I think Lore makes another thing very clear, a "casual" player is NOT bad at the game or unwilling to put the time in to sort their rotation out/do raid research etc.

The "hardcore" player fits their real life schedule around WoW to some extent. I.e. the "hardcore" player will say "on Monday between 8pm and 11pm I am raiding, not doing X, Y or Z". Notice that in neither definition have I said anything about player skill.

Yep...that's how I understand the two approaches as well. The problem, as I see it, is that a number of folks try to define the differences from an approach to game mechanics standpoint rather than a balancing of life/leisure. The absurdity dawned on me when I tried to imagine the same type of arguments arising between "hardcore foodies" and "casual eaters" or any other activity. Just makes me giggle thinking about. Try imagining "hardcore TV Series Viewers" vs "casual TV Watchers" and tell me your next sip doesn't come out your nose.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,12:51   

Quote (Wolfhound @ Sep. 08 2011,09:14)
 I'll have to be VERY brief since I really need to haul my ass to the gym (so much for the stereotypical female online gamer as I am far from being a fat, ugly loser with a terrible complexion (although I do partake in the ocassional Hot Pocket and have pasty white skin))

No no no no no! You have it all wrong. Online male gamers are chunky, pale, eat paste, don't shower, and wear glasses with tape on them. Online female gamers all look like elven supermodels.

At least, that's the rumor...

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 08 2011,13:02   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 08 2011,10:40)
Try the fallout series - same engine but set in a post apocalyptic world. Very immersive.

Hear hear! Good recommendation, Richard! Love them all, but 3 is just outstanding!

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
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