Sep 23, 2009

[The Dark Side of Happy Memories]

MMOCrunch has a breakdown of the archetypes of forum whiners on MMO boards. I'm sure we've all seen iterations of these people (or been one of them ourselves) in many games. His description of 'Whiner Type #4' is a counterpoint to my previous post on MMO memories, in that it shows what happens when 'nostalgia goes bad':

"This is someone who mentions their old games because they are desperately trying to recapture their experience with that “magic” MMO… which is typically the first MMO they played that actually hooked them. Now, they miserably shamble from game to game, almost enjoying them, but never quite getting the high they got from THAT game, which ultimately leads them to complain about THIS game. I have a friend for which City of Heroes was his first game and it was quite an experience for him. Now, no game can ever come close, so even though he is bored to tears with CoH, he can’t really get into other games because they don’t compare to the mythologized version of CoH he has playing in his head.
Of course, the irony here is that no game exists that can compete with that first game… not even that first game. Once you cut away that thick coating of nostalgia, most of these folks would go back to their perfect game, quit after a week, and post on the forums about how the game they remember had been ruined by some phantom patch. In reality their love for their game was based less on mechanics and more on the novelty of the MMO experience."

In other words, this is the kind of person who is confused about what they loved about their MMORPG experience. They can never recapture that 'magic', because the magic is in the PEOPLE and COMMUNITY more than in the game mechanics. Unless the appropriate investment is made by them to interact with people positively and build their own community in a new game, they will claim the game 'has no soul' or 'is lacking some hook' and will quickly grow disillusioned. Such people are stuck in an endless cycle of trying to find a GAME that inspires the kind of feelings in them that only other PEOPLE can create. They're related to the 'MMO Burnout', who hates all new games that are not similar enough to their preferred game while hating any game that is TOO MUCH like that game because "it's just a clone." It's a recipe for perpetual disappointment.

No comments: