“It’s Just A Game”, Sandbox Constriction, and more

It’s been a busy couple of days for the blogosphere! As a result, we’re going to break with our normal sequence of events today, and start with a few great posts from the last day or so that you might have missed!

  • Adam at The Noisy Rogue points to a great comment from the Pathfinder developers, explaining that just because you’re playing a sandbox game, there’s no reason you’ll be able to play whatever you want“You can’t play your character “any way you want”. You have to play a character that is constrained by the internal logic of the game world.”
  • Lewis at Stynlan’s Musings comes up with a particularly powerful comparison point against the old “it’s just a game” argument“I am also fairly willing to bet that many EVE players who are part of the Alliance Tournament teams – not all to be sure, but many – probably spend a not dis-similar number of hours practicing their craft as any professional sportsman or woman.”
  • Spinks at Spinksville writes a fascinating discussion of the ways in which we learn whilst playing MMORPGs“Learning in groups. You join a group, watch what they do and copy it. This is also known as social learning. Now, human beings will tend to learn all sorts of things in groups as well as boss strategies, such as how to behave towards other players.”
  • And Klepsacovic of Troll Racials Are Overpowered leaps into the “realism” argument, pointing out that most of the time, arguments about “realism” are actually discussing plausibility instead“Given the fantasy setting, fire may simply have different rules, so that it can be easily dissipated or the armor itself may have a very high specific heat, meaning that it takes a great deal of energy to raise the temperature of it. There are many possible reasons.”

Got a second? If you could tell us what you think of the Melting Pot we’d be much obliged!

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It’s Just A Game – So Why Do You Care?

Zinn’s popped up over at Elfi’s World with a guest post about gaming being srs bsns. Argh, leet speak, my eyes are burning… I meant, gaming being serious business. She’s asking a tough question: why is “it’s just a game” an accepted response in a heated situation, especially in WoW?

Zinn talks about what context most people use the phrase in and the fact that it’s generally meant as “it’s just a game – so why do you care?”. But she’s taking a strong stance against it – the crux of her argument is that of course she’s going to care. To us as gamers, she says, playing a game is just as enjoyable a hobby as collecting stamps or eating ice-cream. Makes sense – I’ve yet to hear anyone say “it’s just icecream” and let’s face it, gaming’s so much cooler than stamps.

To me WoW is very srs bsns … I spend alot of time in, with it and I invest alot of myself in it. I do it because I enjoy it. To me WoW is important. When I go to work or do other boring stuff, WoW is one of the things that motivates me. While sitting there, tapping my fingers, being utterly bored I think – “Ok, I have to earn money so I can afford WoW”. And ice cream. And all the other stuff that I happen to enjoy.

Zinn looks at the other side too – folks who care about gaming but don’t enjoy it. In addressing both sides of the “it’s just a game” mentality she’s saying we should strke a healthy balance in our gaming lives. But more importantly, Zinn says it’s about pride rather than being ashamed of gaming. It’s an age-old if exasperating trope but I have to ask – are we really still ashamed of being passionate about gaming? Is Zinn right – “it’s just a game” is just a detachment mechanism?

_Quote taken directly from Zinn’s guest post over on Elfi’s World_

_You can find Zinn’s Jinxed Thoughts homepage here_

_You can find Elfi’s World homepage here_

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