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Photographer
Paindancer Productions
Posts: 1,587
Long Beach, California, US


Ok, ill first preface, that I am a bit of a gamer geek.  No, I have never been a 80 hour a week player, looking for PHA7 L3W7Z but I play, mostly for the interactions with other players.

So, recently, a game I play, just had the chord pulled unexpectedly.  It happens sometimes, even if this one was a bit of a surprise.  Now the player base is really taking it to the web, and its leading up to a very interesting clash between the social network and the corporate office.

I guess, it would be like if suddenly IB decided to pull the forums here.  Sure, they would be in their rights to do so, but Im sure the people in the forum would raise hell.

Anyway, I thought the topic of consumers being empowered by the social network might be an interesting one for off topic.

I also have a CNN iReport that has some traction going if you want more info.  http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-838027  (If you like it, dont be afraid to recommend it either)
Sep 07 12 12:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AllisonRPhotos
Posts: 90
Arlington, Virginia, US


Online games are fascinating. I've played many between the time I was 12 and now at the age of 21. I'm a lot more casual about it now, but I used to get seriously into it when I was younger. I only played F2P games, mind you.

Online games are really cool and have been used for science many times. They often have complex economies, can mimic real life situations and can create these amazing bonds out of nowhere. They've studied the complex economies of games like World of Warcraft as well as using it to see how disease spread by using it's massive amounts of players as an example. Some pretty cool shit if you ask me.

I used to play with people from all over the U.S., some in Australia, some in New Zealand and a few from Mexico and South America.

Anyways, I'm not surprised to see an uproar about suddenly getting rid of a game. People can become dependent on them for support systems and to just take it away from the people is pretty rough.
Sep 07 12 07:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paindancer Productions
Posts: 1,587
Long Beach, California, US


Totally.

I have played something of this nature off and on for years.  I have found places to stay while on travel, made good friends, etc. 

These were the first social networks, operating long before Facebook.

This one in particular, seems to really have rallied people.  I am not sure, if becasue it is a more cooperative setting or what, but CoH was known industry wide to have a super loyal and active playerbase.

We will see where it goes.

Im still a giggle that my first writing attempt ever has done so well.  Heh!  Maybe I should blog more.
Sep 08 12 07:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


Paindancer Productions wrote:
So, recently, a game I play, just had the chord pulled unexpectedly.  It happens sometimes, even if this one was a bit of a surprise.  Now the player base is really taking it to the web, and its leading up to a very interesting clash between the social network and the corporate office.

It seems the bubble has burst for online gaming. I played WOW for awhile. Suddenly, one day, I realized it had become an addiction. As time has passed, I've come to see the corporations that run these the MMORPs as, for lack of a better term, evil. Why? Because they use elements of addiction to control the game base. They intentionally make game progress excruciatingly slow. As soon as you reach a level of respectable achievement, something new comes along to make the time investment utterly and completely moot. Of course, you can buy your way to success, but that - added to the base investment of the game - turns into a lot of money.

That being said, I do miss the social interaction involved.

Paindancer Productions wrote:
Anyway, I thought the topic of consumers being empowered by the social network might be an interesting one for off topic.

What is, in your opinion, the ultimate purpose of this empowerment?

How would you define it?

Sep 08 12 07:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AllisonRPhotos
Posts: 90
Arlington, Virginia, US


William Kious wrote:
It seems the bubble has burst for online gaming. I played WOW for awhile. Suddenly, one day, I realized it had become an addiction. As time has passed, I've come to see the corporations that run these the MMORPs as, for lack of a better term, evil. Why? Because they use elements of addiction to control the game base. They intentionally make game progress excruciatingly slow. As soon as you reach a level of respectable achievement, something new comes along to make the time investment utterly and completely moot. Of course, you can buy your way to success, but that - added to the base investment of the game - turns into a lot of money.

That being said, I do miss the social interaction involved.

I would not call MMORPG makers evil. I would call them smart. The point of a business is to maximize profit and they're doing EXACTLY that. By making progression slower, featuring new add-ons, new content, new maps, etc. they're keeping the people hooked. They don't FORCE you to play - you can quit any time you want to, if you're not addicted. IMO, they act like any other company and try to keep people for as long as possible.

Also, Cracked.com did an AWESOME article on video game addiction if you're interested in reading it.    http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5- … icted.html

Grinding, item hunting, silly quests, new gear, new updates - it's all what you should come to expect when you register and download (or buy) the game. You give them your time and money and in exchange they give you numerous hours of fun.

Sep 08 12 10:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
William Kious
Posts: 8,837
Delphos, Ohio, US


AllisonRPhotos wrote:
I would not call MMORPG makers evil. I would call them smart. The point of a business is to maximize profit and they're doing EXACTLY that. By making progression slower, featuring new add-ons, new content, new maps, etc. they're keeping the people hooked. They don't FORCE you to play - you can quit any time you want to, if you're not addicted. IMO, they act like any other company and try to keep people for as long as possible.

They aren't doing EXACTLY that... most of them are hemorrhaging cash and closing up shop (kind of the point of the OP.)

Sep 08 12 08:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paindancer Productions
Posts: 1,587
Long Beach, California, US


Interesting feedback all.

Well, yes, Gaming theory does manipulate the human attraction to diminishing returns.  Thats the nature of the beast.

COH seems a bit off a unique case.. for one.. the corporate decision does not seem to be based on the game not pulling a profit, but some internal politics.  COH was in the black and continuing to improve.

More important, was the abnormally strong social network internal.  Hell, people set up fundrasers for charities in the game.  (http://realworldhero.com/).  Neil Gaiman retweeted my report.  I think, the fact the demographic is a bit more mature than the average gamer, many in the population have access and experience in working with social nets, program management, etc, opposed to the typical gamer base.

But, the best question of all.. what is the point of the empowerment?

Well, in a climate of ever growing corporate influence, in our media, health and politics, I think this is a very interesting example of people standing up to that power.  Democracy works best with check and balances, and to date, there hasnt been a whole lot of balance to corporate influence. I would LOVE to see this used for something other than a game, to effect real world change, but right now, its a brilliant example of people standing up, organizing and making at least a local change.

who knows, if the effort will work, if this will be a 'win' or a 'loose' for social networks, but you better believe corporations beyond NCSoft are looking at this, waiting to see how this pans out.  Both sides are taking notes.
Sep 09 12 10:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vintagevista
Posts: 10,567
Sun City, California, US


It's been my experience that many companies talk bravely about "Community" - and have no idea what it means.

Then, a community forms - social interactions begin creating societial norms, values, sanctions, etc. that apply within the group.

And the company that created it - has no idea it happened and is functioning along the lines of a B&M community - has no experience in dealing with it - and when faced with behaviors they did not expect and cannot control - they frequently will pull the plug in a panic.

Sounds like the "Terminator" and the Skynet saga.

when in fact, that is exactly what happens sometimes.

Companies have brave talk about communities - but, are scared shitless of them when they arise.
Sep 09 12 10:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paindancer Productions
Posts: 1,587
Long Beach, California, US


it will be interesting indeed to see how this one plays out.
Sep 09 12 12:51 pm  Link  Quote 
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