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Role Playing (Games)

A World of Warcraft World 457

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On ebay people are paying real money to buy WoW gold... while some guy in Korea murdered another guy over a rare sword that existed only in an MMORPG. This essay looks at the way more and more people are failing to draw a distinction between their real and online lives and takes it to its logical, yet utterly insane, conclusion." Amusing, and with more than a few ounces of truth.
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A World of Warcraft World

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  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by liquidpele (663430) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:32PM (#13318526) Journal
    I wouldn't think it was the "online sword" or other objects that are so valuable to someone. I would think it's the fact that you have to spend so much time and effort getting them, that the time and emotional effort spent is valuable enough to them to kill or whatever. Any obsessive gamers want to confirm/deny that?
    • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JonN (895435) *
      In addition to this, who is to say someone cannot get emotionally attached to something that isn't physical?
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by try_anything (880404) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:36PM (#13318535)
      Absolutely right. If the time and effort required to obtain something is real, and the satisfaction derived from it is real, then why does it matter if the object itself is virtual?

      The fact that people care so much about a silly game is, however, pathetic in my opinion.
      • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 14, 2005 @10:03PM (#13318766)
        All I would say is that this level of feeling is not some unique nerd-loser quality. See "World Series", "Super Bowl", "Championship Belt", "Formula One", etc.
        • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jekler (626699) on Monday August 15, 2005 @05:19AM (#13319954)
          That's precisely what I'm always trying to point out to people. That this "new wave" of crime is the same old garbage, brought to a new medium by the same psychos who'd kill you for saying their baseball team sucks. Although I have no hard facts to backup this second idea, I speculate that the violent outbreaks over video games isn't even perpetuated by the geeks and nerds, it's a result of video games/PC Games becoming easier and popular enough that the same sick people who kill people over a football game are now playing video games. People weren't killing each other when games were BBS style and you had to be a true nerd to even figure out how to connect, play them, and appreciate the ASCII art. Most maniacs who are prone to kill people just don't have the patience, desire, and intelligence to do all that, but now that the technical knowledge required to play games is so little, your average joe-psycho can hop in and get pissed off in record time.
        • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

          by prell (584580) on Monday August 15, 2005 @11:08AM (#13321419) Homepage
          It does seem to be a similar phenomenon in different clothes. Frustration, desire, violence. The only things that separate the two are.. the same phenomena :-) At least it seems like that. Your post reminded me of this passage from a book I just started reading online:
          Go to a party. Listen to the laughter, that brittle-tongued voice that says fun on the surface and fear underneath. Feel the tension, feel the pressure. Nobody really relaxes. They are faking it. Go to a ball game. Watch the fan in the stand. Watch the irrational fit of anger. Watch the uncontrolled frustration bubbling forth from people that masquerades under the guise of enthusiasm, or team spirit. Booing, cat-calls and unbridled egotism in the name of team loyalty. Drunkenness, fights in the stands. These are the people trying desperately to release tension from within. These are not people who are at peace with themselves. Watch the news on TV. Listen to the lyrics in popular songs. You find the same theme repeated over and over in variations. Jealousy, suffering, discontent and stress.
          Here [saigon.com]'s the book!
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Interesting)

      by athmanb (100367) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @09:07PM (#13318642)
      The sword was worth a good 5000 yuan on the open market. Adjusting that for GDP, that's around $3000 in the US.

      Now how many americans have gotten murdered over $3000 or less? A lot.
      • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I do not believe that you can possibly identify a single country, except for perhaps Monaco and Vatican City, where someone has not been murdered for a sum of money less than 3000 USD. So I am not sure why gripe you have against the US that you feel the need to try and turn everything into a failing of the US "social experiment."
        • So I am not sure why gripe you have against the US that you feel the need to try and turn everything into a failing of the US "social experiment."

          I think the point the poster is making is that here in the US, violent crime is so common as to be generally un-news worthy, and that the US have a very high violent crime rate. Of course I am not going to quote you numbers, but I'm suggesting that this idea is not arguable.

          • Hey, aren't you the guy who wrote the Necronomicon??? jk

          • It IS arguable (Score:5, Interesting)

            by bonch (38532) on Monday August 15, 2005 @12:10AM (#13319171)
            It's a popular meme that crime in America is "so high that it's not newsworthy." Crime happens all over the world and no higher in America than anywhere else. Crimes are more often prosecuted here than anywhere else, and many crime rates are proportionally lower here than in Europe. There are several places to look these stats up, but here's a site from Google that summarizes them:

            Stats [tinyvital.com]

            Of course I am not going to quote you numbers, but I'm suggesting that this idea is not arguable.

            In other words, you won't cite anything but will declare your argument inarguable. It's sad that this is what passes for insightful commentary on Slashdot these days!
        • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ultranova (717540)

          I do not believe that you can possibly identify a single country, except for perhaps Monaco and Vatican City, where someone has not been murdered for a sum of money less than 3000 USD. So I am not sure why gripe you have against the US that you feel the need to try and turn everything into a failing of the US "social experiment."

          I believe that parent posters point was that the poor bastard that got murdered didn't get murdered for a virtual sword that's worth nothing; he got murdered for a virtual sword

    • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dnoyeb (547705)
      You dont need to be an obsessive gamer. Anything you put time and effort into has value. Someone stealing it has commited a true crime.

      Yet in playing the game you must understand that everything within the game mechanics is fair play. Exploits are another story. And its even worse when you get exploited and the parent company does not admit the exploit exists and wont make you right. Or even worse when they deny it exists, then you see a fix in for it a month later, but no reimbursement.

      I play eve-onli
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865) * on Sunday August 14, 2005 @09:22PM (#13318699)
      The comment that was made in the blurb/article about not being able to differentiate between a game and real life is ridiculous. It's inflammatory and biased and baseless. Nobody is making a mental disconnect between the two "places". It's just people with anger issues. Some people get seriously pissed off when someone cuts them off in traffic. They tail them until they can beat the crap out of them. Other people might let their anger get out of hand over a discussion on abortion or religion or the invasion of Iraq or a sports team or getting fouled in a basketball game. Otherwise might do so because they felt screwed over in a game that they'd invested a lot of time in.
      • The comment that was made in the blurb/article about not being able to differentiate between a game and real life is ridiculous. It's inflammatory and biased and baseless. Nobody is making a mental disconnect between the two "places".

        Is it baseless? After all, it would seem that a lot of people don't know the difference between a satire web site article and a completely serious one.
    • Forever people have been wrapped up in their fantasy personalities/lives. Witness:

      Son of Sam. Watches movie and goes around shooting people.

      Street racer kids who watch "Too fast Too furious" and go racing around streets killing people.

      People that take Oprah/Arnold/whomever as role models.

      If you have a boring RealLife(tm) then you are quite likely at risk of taking your more exciting FantasyLife quite seriously and attaching significant value to your FantasyLife.

  • Or... (Score:5, Funny)

    by JonN (895435) * on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:33PM (#13318527) Homepage
    The people are ripe for it. You've heard stories about how ticket sales are plummeting at movie theaters, in favor of home DVD viewing. Why? Why do so many people want to work from home now? Because we're sick of having to sit with other people. We want that extra layer of control that meat interaction will never give us. We want a world without the unpredictability of real, unrestrained humanity. Either that...Or DVD+/-R & DVDwriters prices are coming down.
    • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bladesjester (774793) <{moc.daehsgnillohsemaj} {ta} {todhsals}> on Sunday August 14, 2005 @10:03PM (#13318767) Homepage Journal
      Working from home helps cut down on the money spent on gas now that the prices have become prohibitive.

      Renting dvd's also tends to end up being cheaper. Cost of getting to the theater, $10+/ticket in a lot of places, and soda, popcorn, etc. by the time it's all said and done, if more than one person is going to see the movie, it's actually cheaper just to buy the bloody thing in the store when it comes out on dvd.

      Avoiding rude people is just kind of an added bonus.
      • Re:Or... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lowmagnet (646428)

        Prohibitive? In Europe, folks pay $5-6/gallon (Adjusted from Euros/litres) which is far more prohibitive than $2.50-3/gallon. In the US, we are used to a subsidised (Our energy bills pander to the petroleum industry) fuel delivery system. Well, the fantasy is coming to an end, oil man President or not.

        I'm totally for renting videos. I pay Blockbuster $25/mo. and get probably 20 or so rentals out. I don't even rip/burn the discs. I just watch one every other evening or so.

        Well, not totally. I'm still going

        • Re:Or... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cloudmaster (10662)
          In the USA, we pay higher taxes elsewhere to support the roads, rather than paying high taxes on fuel to support the roads. It's not more subsidized here, it's just taxed differently in the two places. A barrel of oil costs [roughly] the same in either place.

          Then again, even if I'm totally wrong, where in the heck do you think the government gets the money for subsidies? That's right - from the taxes the citizens pay. My taxes haven't gone down recently, but the price of gas sure has gone up (mostly due
    • Re:Or... (Score:3, Funny)

      by khrtt (701691)
      Movie ticket prices are about $10, which is ridiculous, considering what you're getting -- the right to sit in a dark room in a filthy uncomfortable seat and watch the back of the head of the fat fuck in front of you, who moves it back into your line of sight every time you twist your neck in a different way to see around it. You also get to listen to other people around you discuss some stupid shit, snarf popcorn, and fart.

      A DVD rental is next to free with netflix, and if you can't watch it for some reaso
  • violence (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stoutpuppy (889407) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:33PM (#13318528)
    ever consider the benefits of mmorpgs and computer games? ever compared the real violence rate and drug rates between nerds and jocks? jocks are the generally the ones beating peers, raping women and snorting coke. sh~t happens with anything. what doesn't influence people?
    • ever consider the benefits of mmorpgs and computer games?
      Well... living in your mothers basement and never having a girlfriend is definately a financial benifit. Although, bad hygene and poor social development may be considered by some to be con.

      ever compared the real violence rate and drug rates between nerds and jocks?
      Take a knee junior. This type of humor, although not ironical, uses juxtapositioning to present the stereotypical nerd, geek, dweeb, and dork just as irrational as the feared jock when
    • Re:violence (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      jocks are the generally the ones beating peers, raping women and snorting coke

      i beg to differ - i did coke, raped loads of women, beat up pretty much all of my peers at least once and never really bothered with sports at all

    • Nerds also tend to be weaker and smarter.

      By being weaker it's harder for us to rape women and smarter means we know better.
    • Re:violence (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CharonIDRONES (656891) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @11:21PM (#13318987)
      I'll add some fuel to the flames.

      I guess you could possibly say I was that 'stereotypical' looking jock/prep guy in highschool (just graduated, 3.6 GPA, so not a 'dumb' jock either). Yeah, I've done an assortment of drugs, not really to my regret either, started out small, escalated, and I still do them at parties on the weekends, though nothing really 'hard'. By hard, I mean essentially using a needle to do it, but used to snort 80s of OxyContin among other things.

      However - I'm also what you would call a 'nerd' to an extent, I've worked in computer businesses for two years (two seperate businesses for a year each - both went out of business and I was with each from start to finish). I took state three times in wrestling, twice in collegiate and once in Greco-Roman, but I'm not a violent person at all, I party a lot but I don't get into fights, I don't rape women or anything like that, I adhor violence honestly.

      So essentially, I'm a jock that plays MMORPGs (Lineage II, EverQuest, fyi), wears Abercrombie, uses Linux, used to do coke a lot, has never taken advantage of a woman, and yet still bound to these petty stereotypes? Sorry, but grow up and get your head out of your ass, the world needs stereotypes about as much as they need racism.

      -Brandon
  • You fools (Score:5, Funny)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:34PM (#13318530) Homepage
    How dare you sully the great name of Blizzard? I and my 80 strong army of MC loot equipped legionaires will lead a crusade against you until there is not but one of you left to mock us!

    But we need a one hour break from 6-7, Mom will murder me if I'm not there to eat dinner with the familly. Don't worry, this "real world" instance seems to be pretty persistant, our progress wont be lost, just aa few minutes to clear the repop...
  • by rogabean (741411) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:36PM (#13318536)
    until I ran into this:

    "Just think of how porn changes when the user also gets to go in with the toned body of an underwear model. It'll make our current online porn look like just the tip of the assberg."

    Was that really needed?

    Anyway the article smells of someone trying to get posted on /. and not something of actual merit.
  • The Real Question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Boss Coffee (831374) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:37PM (#13318538)
    I'd like to see a study on the percentage of people that drop out of college due to WOW and how many actually recover.
    • by ebrandsberg (75344)
      It really doesn't matter if it's WoW or something else--I dropped out from college because I was playing on this newfangled thing called the Internet, to the detriment of my studies. This was back in '95, and I got lucky that what I got involved with ended up being my job years later. Somehow though, unless you want to become a chinese gold farmer, I don't think this type of experience will carry over, but it points out that such passions have always occured, be it getting involved with drugs, sex, hobbie
      • I saw someone addicted to MUDs at CMU (this was betweeen 1991-1993 (!)) they were in the computer lab, and still there when I returned the next day - they had never left!

        Yeah, they had the Internet back then.
  • by deft (253558) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:38PM (#13318539) Homepage
    Of course these people dont think they live ina fantasy world... but here's the reality of it.

    These people have a very real connection to the entertainment, social, and self image (among many other things) aspects of playing this game. The ways you can gain prominence, excell, get friends, make a splash, whatever it is they are talking about (swords and money are prime examples).

    When someone takes that from you or offers to sell it to you, it has real world implications to their lives that are no less real than anything else. It does not matter what social construct it is.

    Going down to my local club where every girl is dressed up and dancing is also complete surreal to the normal world around me. And if I drive up in a nice car (+5 pimp/has money) and wearing a rolex (+3 nice job) it has effect on that world too. And it's the bsuiness owners job to make it as surreal as possible just like a game... with flashy lights to make the girls look better, and drinks to.... make the girls look better (and the guys too).

    It's all about power and these people are just living it with a game as the medium. But it's no less real. Odd maybe, not so accepted, yes, but it's very real... as that guys rage in killing someone demonstrates quite well.
    • Of course these people don't think they live in a fantasy world... Odd maybe, not so accepted, yes, but it's very real...

      ...and not without precedent.

      "Reality" has always been defined by what we agree on. Ask any anthropologist, politician, or phone-sex operator...

    • by King_TJ (85913) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @10:48PM (#13318844) Journal
      It seems to me that it's just as much of a problem of having a "chronic need to escape reality" if you're blowing all your money at the strip clubs or nightclubs, going out to the movies every single night, taking recreational drugs to escape, or spending most of your waking hours inside an MMORPG.

      The way "reality" works in our world, entertainment = escape. The entertainment industry probably prefers you not equate the two so starkly, but I think it's just the facts. All of us have a need to disconnect from our daily lives (the "daily grind" as we so often call it), so we crave some "entertainment" to whisk us away from all those worries and stress for a while. But some people live for the escape itself, not for their lives as a whole. And that spells trouble.

      Just because while playing an MMORPG, one might have a real connection to the "social aspects" of the game and so on doesn't mean it's any more "real" than other forms of "escape". Most people hooked on cocaine, heroin, or other drugs tell you that all their friends are doing it, and it's "cool" and so on and so forth, too. It does let them become a part of a particular "social circle" and attain a level of "popularity" they might not otherwise have had ... But again, all of it is ultimately "false", because those "friends" are only connecting because of the common addiction they share.
      • The way "reality" works in our world, entertainment = escape.

        Right on. To paraphrase Socrates, there are two basic kinds of pleasure, the first being the kind one derives from bowing to one's immediate desires for sensory gratification, and the second being derived from acting according to one's conscience, thereby "ennobling" oneself.

        Those of us living in the wealthiest societies habitually choose the former kind of pleasure.

        • The best phrase I've heard to describe this sort of gratification is "Perpetually scratching a perpetual itch". That nails the MMORPG levelling treadmill pretty well.
      • I largely agree with your ideas about humanity's desire to escape reality, but I've also found from personal experience that it's possible to replace that escape from reality with reality that you truely enjoy.
        During highschool and my first couple years of college, I played quite a few videogames, read books almost constantly, and went to movies frequently. But, for the past couple of years, I've replaced most of that with a girlfriend. We simply spent lots of time together, doing m
  • As Fark might say.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:48PM (#13318571) Homepage
    Personal responsibility surrenders. Its not the game. Its not the weapon. Its not the sex. Its the person!
    • > Its not the sex.
      Of course not, this is slashdot; we don't get that kind of stuff here...
      • I still think it's funny that I got a lot of interest from girls in college because of the swords (I've trained martially since I've been a kid and was a member/pseudo-coach of the fencing team at my college).

        There were other reasons too, but the swords one was just amusing. Swords lead to rabid fan-girls, and those just lead to general amusement in various and assorted ways. :P
  • by craznar (710808) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:50PM (#13318574) Homepage
    When there is internet cafe's in WoW Inns and Taverns on which I can read the news, read slashdot and even play online games such as WoW.

    And what sort of conspiracy that my verify word was 'sorcery' ... mmmm!!!
  • by Bralkein (685733) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:53PM (#13318578)
    I used to play EQ [sony.com] a lot, I was pretty hooked on it for about a year. I don't regret it, since I had a lot of fun times, but looking back, I certainly burnt a lot of hours in Norrath. My brother got really hooked on it too, and he's not even the complete nerd that I am. There were certain people there who were pretty terrifying though. For example, I often heard people talking about how they were skipping school in order to spend the day playing the game, and my brother once even got paid (EQ money, but still) to guard someone's character while he took a nap at the keyboard. This guy was so thoroughly obsessed with the game that he wouldn't leave the computer - not even to sleep.

    Take these stories as warnings. You might not think yourself capable of such things, and okay, I doubt you'll end up killing anyone, but even a stupid little game can become a major feature in your life if you're not careful. Especially when you have to pay per month, since it's so easily justifiable - you're only getting your money's worth, after all!
    • What I have to say is not as bad, and was from the time of the text MUDs. I guy I know once went without sleep for a few days so he didn't have to log off. The problem with logging off was that your character was asleep, and hence vulnerable to anyone who came along.

      It can be a problem, but only if you take it seriously. If you treat it as the fun it should be (and not as a life/career etc), then there is no problem.

      This sort of problem is not new, but goes all the way back to D&D, and the suicides of

  • by HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @08:58PM (#13318593)
    Sure... There is the initial, Why would someone kill some guy over something as intangible as an online sword?

    K, why would someone kill someone else over something as intangible as the way they honor their preferred deity? There are always people on the fringe of any group whose very fringiness make them outcasts. Online wealth is still wealth. People go to war for essentially the same thing; albeit on a larger scale.

    I say, Let Natural selection decide who is the victor, People with intangible swords vs. people with tangible swords and questionable mental stability.
    • Swords?! (Score:2, Funny)

      by thesnarky1 (846799)
      forget swords! These people are obvious terrorists and should be dealt with. Track back the IPs and carpet bomb 'em! On Ebay? well, WE don't negotitate with terrorists, therefore whoever does... well, lets just say, more carpet bombs!
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @09:02PM (#13318615)
    I don't understand why people ridicule online life and view it as some trivial sideshow to "real" life. The history of human existence shows that people have a penchant for taking many things seriously. Many of these activities reside far outside the realm of pragmatic, utilitarian life. Whether it's being a sports fan, a serious gardener, a breeder of dogs, an avid golfer, a sailboat owner, or any of a thousand other activities, people can become quite immersed. If online gaming "doesn't count," then so many other activities that people invest time in do not count either.

    Without these "hobbies," people would be little more than animals -- eating, sleeping, reproducing in the endless cycle of life that we share with even the lowliest bacteria. What distinguishes humans from animals (perhaps only quantitatively) is the extent that we can move beyond the mundane activities of "real" life and explore such a wide range of alternatives.

    For the record, I, personally am not into online gaming or sports -- this post is not a personal rant -- but I can see how these activities can become a major part of a person's identity and daily life. As such, it is important to understand and respect (in a love-of-freedom sense, not a politically correct sense) the fact that different people value different things. Its not that some people go overboard on online life vs. real life, its that some people become immersed in a life that is different from the utilitarian vision of a standard life.
    • by syousef (465911) on Monday August 15, 2005 @01:31AM (#13319458) Journal
      I don't understand why people ridicule online life and view it as some trivial sideshow to "real" life. The history of human existence shows that people have a penchant for taking many things seriously. Many of these activities reside far outside the realm of pragmatic, utilitarian life. Whether it's being a sports fan, a serious gardener, a breeder of dogs, an avid golfer, a sailboat owner, or any of a thousand other activities, people can become quite immersed.

      Two things:

      1) When the dog breeder stops going away for weekends, and starts dressing their dog and talking to it like a human being, they get plenty of ridicule. Same with sports fans that get so obsessed they riot, or that sail boat owner that won't even talk to their wife and kids and is about to lose his job (but hangs on to it JUST barely...so he can buy parts for the boat). No one's going to ridicule you for playing an online game occassionally. But when you start to shun friends and family and get obsessed you can rightly expect to be called a twit.

      2) There is some feeling that because there is no tangible physical real-world gain, it's all just a waste of time. This is largely a point of view issue. Some see more abstract things as worthwhile. Others don't. But most people would agree that if you've got a great "online" life and a terrible real life, it's time to stop the escapism for long enough to give your real life a go.
  • by nunchux (869574) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @09:02PM (#13318617)
    ... while some guy in Korea murdered another guy over a rare sword that existed only in an MMORPG.

    CHINA, not Korea. It happened in SHANGHAI. Geez, do a little research, tens of thousands of people are going to read your submission...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8143073/ [msn.com]

  • by Raunch (191457)
    For instance, none of the illustrations used in the article below were done with human hands. Each was rendered automatically by a remarkable piece of software called Nedroid, which can scan any piece of text, "read" it for comprehension and, incredibly, render artwork to match the context.

    Huh? Nedroid is completely fake.
  • Dupe (Score:2, Informative)

    by melikamp (631205)
    Dupe [slashdot.org]
  • by GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @09:07PM (#13318640)
    Here's a link to a phsychologist who's making his living on studying people who play MMORPG's.

    http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/ [nickyee.com]

    I've filled out his surveys for 4 or 5 years.

    At the site you may find many tools for characterizing your personality type and how it relates to the alternate reality of the games. As well as analysis of how MMORPG's have affected people en masse.

  • by multipartmixed (163409) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @09:51PM (#13318732) Homepage
    This is nothing more than more of the same crap that surrounded Dungeons & Dragons in the late 70s and the 80s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_&_Dragons#Cr iticism_and_controversies [wikipedia.org]

    These people behave irrationally not because of the game, but because they are irrational, sick, or sociopathic people.

    If these same individuals were in a knitting club, they'd be stabbing each other's eyes out with knitting needles and paying stupid amounts of money for fancy-assed wool to turn into butt-ugly sweaters and scarves. But we don't hear people telling us that knitting is evil -- probably because other people outside the knitting community understand what it's all about.
  • by StandardCell (589682) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @10:00PM (#13318748)
    In case you haven't heard how serious (read: messed up or funny, depending on your disposition) MMORPGs can get, have a listen to this:

    http://wowseriousbusiness.ytmnd.com/ [ytmnd.com]

    This was recorded from a voice chat on WoW. All I can say is...WOW...
  • I know a guy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TerranFury (726743) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @10:10PM (#13318797)

    ...who met a woman, and dated her, as much in the World of Warcraft as in the real one.

    She ended up leaving her husband and moving to an apartment near him just to be with him -- a college kid. Talk about insane!

    Poor guy didn't know what'd hit him.

    She was po'-white-trash with no job and no education beyond high school. Finally he got enough sense knocked into him to get away from her.

    The kid is still addicted to WoW, much to the detriment of his grades and his social life. For all I knock the crap that passes for a "social life," sitting by yourself in a dark room playing MMORPGs sure isn't healthy!

    I've been in some bad situations, but man: What happened to him sure makes me feel normal.

  • I play SWG, and have for the last 9 months. I went thru the crazy insane grinding that was needed to get a Jedi character, and then to get full template.

    Nuts.

    But now I am having tons of fun :)
  • http://wowseriousbusiness.ytmnd.com/ [ytmnd.com]

    Obligatory YOU STOLE MY FUCKING CLOUDSONG!
  • by bersl2 (689221) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @10:40PM (#13318822) Journal
    participating in a fantasy world. Usually, it's been their own, in their own heads; but now they manifest these behaviors in a public, communal fantasy world, in a way that is widely observable.

    Of course, there now are regularly elements that are beyond the control of one person, namely other people; this is where the combination of fantasy and immaturity lead to "bad things".
  • I played WoW for a long time. I lost enough Deathstrikers to mages and priests to know that it doesn't make too big of a difference.

    I can still PvP quite well. Very well, infact, with my half-decent equipment.

    But even that doesn't matter. Unless you spend horus a day playing, you can never really be well-rewarded for your PvP efforts.
  • by CustomDesigned (250089) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @10:59PM (#13318902) Homepage Journal
    FTFA: You'll meet a couple who have been married for years and have never seen each other's real-life faces.

    In That Hideous Strength [amazon.com] , Merlin asks Ransom, "Who is called Sulva? What road does she walk? Why is the womb barren on one side? Where are the cold marriages?"

    In part, Ransom replies, "... the womb is barren and the marriages cold. There dwell an accursed people, full of pride and lust. There when a young man takes a maiden in marriage, they do not lie together, but each lies with a cunningly fashioned image of the other, made to move and to be warm by devilish arts, for real flesh will not please them, they are so dainty in their dreams of lust. Their real children they fabricate by vile arts in a secret place."

    Lewis had modernism pegged way back in the '40s.

    • It's funny but I know some people in NYC who are well on their way to that. They obsess over the perfect match, and are dissapointed if any aspect of their relationship does not match Hollywood level passion/lust/perfection. Needless to say, they're pretty lonely people and getting more than a bit bitter.
  • Not surprised (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Robotron23 (832528)
    Back in 2001 when I played UO, I remember hearing of a dude who committed suicide over being scammed out of some valuable possessions worth (back then) about a thousand bucks on eBay. I was scammed a few times in UO myself, and it sucked and I got pissed off over it for awhile - like you would if you were a victim of minor theft. Its pheasable to imagine - if your loss was much greater (equates to bankruptcy/major theft) - that some may kill/assault/commit suicide over it.

    I read somewhere that that dudes sw
  • Or at least, it's just as real as a piece of music, or a movie, or a book.

    They all have it in common that they do not have an intrinsic physical embodiment and they could conceivably be copied endlessly without losing use value for the owner of a copy.

    Stealing a virtual sword is if anything a lot worse than making a copy of a record. It's more akin to stealing the actual CD from someone, or making a copy and deleting the original, since you deprive the owner from use of the item.

  • Read the book.

    Personally, I vow never to buy into a MMORPG until they are like in Snowcrash.

    By then, the argument about the difference between real and virtual property will be redundant. And the USA will be broken up into franchises. And skateboards will have glass-powdering sonic blasters on them.
  • I seem to recall Meridian 59 [neardeathstudios.com] being around long before that.

    And before even that I remember wasting a lot of time playing Legend of the Red Dragon, Usurper, the Pit, and many many more game titles I have since forgotten.

  • by Fractal Dice (696349) on Sunday August 14, 2005 @11:21PM (#13318984) Journal

    "Real" money is just a fantasy substance that people barter for. Money is not a fancy piece of paper, it's a delusion, that we all politely buy into to make trading easier.

    Like some third-world currency that suffers boutes of inflation and counterfeiting, MMRPG money is ephemeral and unstable, but from a mathematical standpoint, economics does not care if there the resources are real or imagined.

    Markets have judged the supply and demand and the perception of inflation/permanence have assigned it a conversion rate. And because there are a great many unknowns in how a game will develop or be managed, the markets may from time to time exhibit irrational exhuberance, have pyramids and bubbles, just like the "real" world.

    It's not entirely impossible that some day a court might rule that income tax will have to be charged on game money for the simple reason that there is a market for it - just as if it was money earned in another country.

  • And just how do you punish a rape committed by one virtual character on another, if the real person's body is left untouched?

    That's obvious, you ban the guy, even though you promised you weren't going to use your powers to interfere in the game anymore [ludd.luth.se] and then watch the society you built crumble into dust.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 14, 2005 @11:31PM (#13319038)
    People are playing World of Warcraft, EverQuest 2, Star Wars Galaxies, etc. as a hobby or form of entertainment when they are away from work or school. And like every other hobby or form of entertainment, there will be some who do it way too much or way too seriously for their own well-being.

    I work a regular, decent job like any other normal person. When I come home, my wife and I play World of Warcraft together. This is opposed to sitting ourselves down in front of the TV for 6 hours like many people do.

    We have formed a guild with other working adults who treat WoW as a game, and not a replacement for life. We have a great deal of fun when we play without needing to be pressured by others to be involved in raiding or other activites every waking hour.

    Yes, there are some people we know who are in the game at least 18 hours a day and treat raiding Molten Core as if it were more important than life itself. Yes, it is pretty sad. But if it weren't WoW, they'd most likely be squandering all their time obsessing over some other activity.
  • by kwerle (39371) <kurt@CircleW.org> on Monday August 15, 2005 @12:38AM (#13319274) Homepage Journal
    This article is lame for so many reasons, but I'll just pick at the first sentence of the post:

    "On ebay people are paying real money to buy WoW gold."

    No they aren't.

    They're connecting to a virtual auction house (ebay) to exchange virtual money (credit card/paypal/whatever) for virtual goods (MMO junk).

    I'm half inclined to go an about the value of various pieces of paper (greenbacks) vs. blank pieces of paper and the implication of the phrase "real money" - which is a lot like saying "real promises of value", or even "virtual wealth". But I'm not going to, because I've already put more thought into this comment than I think the author of the article or the post did.
  • by DrugCheese (266151) on Monday August 15, 2005 @01:11AM (#13319384)
    between me and the internet me.

    And we take offense to these remarks.

  • by AvantLegion (595806) on Monday August 15, 2005 @01:34AM (#13319469) Journal
    ... than the "value" of a piece of cardboard with a certain sports player's image, or a certain image for a collectible card game?

    Of course, the bottom kinda dropped out of the sports card business, so maybe that's not a good example. :)

  • by mseeger (40923) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:31AM (#13319726)

    ... when you think there is no work to do, just because your boss doesn't have a yellow exclamation mark above his head.

    Regards, Martin

  • by Gorimek (61128) on Monday August 15, 2005 @10:16AM (#13320968) Homepage
    That sword is no less real than the money in your bank account. Both exist only as bits on a disk drive at some server farm.

    Computers are real, as are the people using them. I don't know why they should be considered less 'real' than any other human activity.

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.

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