Brand Loyalty (was Re: [MUD-Dev] Requirements for MM (wasComp lexities of MMOG Servers))

Robert Zubek rob at cs.northwestern.edu
Thu Jan 23 10:33:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


Hi T.H.!

From: holding99 at mindspring.com [mailto:holding99 at mindspring.com]

> Personally, I don't think RL treadmills and game treadmills are so
> different. In each case, we compare ourselves with others to rate
> the quality of our achievements. In each case, we assign substance
> and importance to the results of the effort. Real life treadmills
> are 'meaningful' and 'have vast and serious consequences' to some
> people, just as game treadmills are 'meaningful' and 'have vast
> and serious consequences' to others. I have known people who have
> considered suicide because they lost something they valued in a
> game. You might respond, "Yeah, well, they have issues." and you'd
> probably be right. But value is always by perception, and it's
> impossible to generalize that one class of treadmills is more
> valuable than other.

Whoa, are you really claiming that spending your free time doing
skill ladders in Everquest is equivalent to spending your free time
on, say, taking night school courses or going to the gym? That what
you get out of the former is equivalent to what you get out of the
latter?

I'm sorry, but for the vast majority of the population, real life
simply *is* more important than online games, even if we take the
cynical view that it's all treadmills and jumping through hoops
anyway. :) Your point about hardcore players is well taken - there
will always be people who will let the game take over their lives -
but I think we can safely treat them as statistical outliers. And if
we agree that life is more important, the (perhaps banal) question
remains: why is it? And what is it that, in spite of the common
treadmill structure, makes the game so much less consequential? 
That's the question I've been trying to get at.

Rob

--
Robert Zubek
http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~rob 

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