Gaming Massively

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

examples from the real world

I was thinking, in one of my less lucid moments (or maybe it was more lucid, but regardless) of a way to ensure that everyone participated in, or at least had an interest in, some sort of PvP area that could be controlled by either side. I drew on the real world example of mobile phones. Mobile phones use an ultra rare ingredient called Coltan that can be found in only a few places around the world. Since mobile phone production is so important, securing coltan has led in some cases to a real-world PvP sort of situation.

Once I had a real world crazy example, I thought 'why not get really crazy' and base the game on RMT, with currency having both a buy and sell rate (with a commission earned by the game maker in both directions).

Assuming you make the game fun enough in all other respects (big assumption, I know), this in-game element could become as contentious as the real-world example I drew from. Since we already know large organizations get involved whenever there is money to be made, one can imagine the whole thing blowing up into serious RL drama.

Obviously, this is all a thought exercise, as I don't think, in the end, this would make for a stable game play experience, but it is interesting (for me, at least) to think about ways in which the real world could be drawn into the game, giving the game a richer background.

I have the impression that Eve Online may live on the fringes of this sort of thing, but I need my games a lot more carebear, so I'm not sure.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

on holiday

I got crazy in the car while driving to our holiday destination, and fired up World of Warcraft using my mobile phone as the internet connection. I was able to check my mail, chat with some folks, and things like that, but the lag was listed as 5000 milliseconds, so I decided to skip heading out to do some quests. I'll be taking a couple of weeks break from playing, though I may still post if I see something noteworthy. Right now it looks like everyone is dragging out the old 'why are all the MMO games fantasy' from the closet where it was hidden with the Christmas decorations. I am personally of the opinion that it's a confluence of tradition with the fact that noone is doing a better game in another genre. Give it another ten years, then maybe there will be something interesting to say about it.

The other hot topic right now seems to be paying real money for in-game items, prompted by the startup company Live Gamer. The possibly-too-small-circle of gaming blogs apparently spent too much time in close proximity this holiday season, as tempers flared over the issue. The only thing I have to add is that Tobold is absolutely correct that money killed Magic: the Gathering, and it would not be at all difficult to imagine the same thing happening to any MMO.

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