Pretentious, opinionated language

Games, technology, music, silliness. Oh and ninjas. Lots of ninjas.

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Location: Oslo, Norway

I am Andreas. Day time programmer and technical consultant. Night time musician and game developer.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Burning crusade will eat your soul

I am, as stated, not a fan of World of warcraft. Tonight the expansion launches.

I thought i'd commemorate this occation by pointing out to you all the things i think are wrong about the game, as a symbol of the genre at which vanguard it stands, howling with fury at the enemy, claymore at the ready. Who is this enemy? Your very soul.

Much of what i'm about to say are matters of fact. Obvious matters even. The important thing, and i can't stress this enough, is the maddening insignificance of it, and the very real toll these insignificances take on you as an individual.

Nothing you do in this game will ever matter. Every moment of your life you spend grinding, spamming heals or dots in raids, talking shit on vent, all these moments, minutes, hours and days are moments you could have spent becoming a better person. You could've spent them tending to your relationship. You could've learned something new, something real. You could've learned how to play an instrument. You could've read a great book. You could've learned how to create your own game. Every hour you clock in is an hour closer to the grave, and hour you'll never get back. And you're paying to undergo this vampirism.

You create nothing in this world. You destroy nothing in this world. Whatever you remove from it is returned in moments. Whatever you give to it is surpassed in moments. Whatever you say in it is forgotten. And you pay for this oblivion.

There is no achievement to be made in this world. Any achievement you meet has been placed in front of you by the designers, and your only boon is the fact that you spent the time and wealth to get at it. Within moments, across the world, your glory is washed over by a tide of insignificance as your achievement is repeated a hundred times over, and you are left with one option; to start over on a different path. But what is the point? Whatever you will do has been done before. Whatever you experience has been experienced before; your ability to manifest yourself with this world instantly nullified by a game design out to make all men and women equal to the molecule. But men and women ARE NOT equal, and should never be forced to partake in such a totalitarian concept of the self. You will never be made truly manifest in this world. And you are paying for this slavery.

Every time you log in, what is truly your goal? A simulacra of a socialite existence? Truly this is not the case, because isn't this a game? A challenge to be overcome, a challenge to your senses, your sensibilities, your intelligence? Shouldn't a game in the true sense of the word pose a question to which your SELF will provide the answer? In this world, you joyfully commit genocide. In this world, you slay women, the weak, animals in the wild, for no reason other than a figurative means to an end that is entirely hollow; a loose concept of achievement and progress that is in itself a lie, because not only is there a physical end to it, but it comes quickly, and when it comes there isn't a thing you can do to surpass it, the only form of progress from that point a test of endurance. And you are paying for this empty, aimless existence.

I loathe everything world of warcraft stands for. Its craftsmanship is a boon to Blizzard's ability, but its popularity is a boon to the game's simplicity. This is a "game" in only the loosest sense of the word, where challenge is solved with time, and failure is punished with time. Time for which you pay hard earned money, but more importantly, time forever lost.

You will never see this day again.

I could level these ballistics at any game of the genre that exists only to mine the bored, the lonely and the easily distracted of both their lifespan and their economy, but in truth WoW is the ugliest of them all, most spectacularly because of its complete disregard for the individual. You are faceless in this world. You are ageless in this world. You can't create. You can't build. Your efforts will pass away into nothing at the push of a button, and none of that effort will ever become something you can be truly proud of, because deep inside your secret heart, you know all you did was waste time.

I love video games. They're a constant flood of wonderful images and ideas, of scary things, pretty things, sad things, funny things. But they should never feed off you. They should never take bleeding chunks out of your life, and they should never grow fat off your loneliness, your disconnection from the world, or from your urges for acceptance and conformity.

Play games, but guard your heart, guard your self. You are guests in their worlds, not them in yours. Don't let them inside, and if you do, don't give them they key.

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