Our world holds all kinds of secrets, miracles, myths and phenomenons of incredible diversification and human kind just starts to explore all that. With the steep development of humanity people became creative and after thousands of years of humane inventiveness some of them accomplished to create a new dimension: the virtual dimension.
This dimension made by and for humanity is on the whole based on our real world and so this artificial world holds miracles and phenomenons I want to describe in this article of which I hope I can expand it to a series of articles. My descriptions only concern the milieu of massively multiplayer online games, in short MMOs.
The aspects I take on may seem banal to the average reader of this article on first sight but I think it is worth devoting some deeper thoughts to these topics. Partially due to my work here it will not be possible for me to arrange the topics regarding their importance, depth or context so I will just pick up topics which are newsworthy or topics I have thought about in the near past. So please excuse this lack of structure in the article. Now, after this dissipated introduction let me start:
Members who continuous followed our news-section should have browsed through the article http://www.elitepvpers.com/forum/mmo-...some-mmos.html
. Sure the conducting of the idea described there is absolutely inefficient and out of place. Of course the motive of emancipation is not absurd but rather worthwhile. However, it is not really of interest what publishers want or what their measures are but for me firstly the motives of genderfakers and the impact of this kind of disguise of one's own identity on the game and its players are in the foreground.
I have to admit that I never really felt like creating a female character for me and since it has no real influence on the game and most games default settings in character creation just featured a male character I did not play a female character worth mentioning. That is why it is hard for me to think of motives for this kind of behaviour. Sure, often it is "just 4 fun" or just a random decision but if a player decides to start a long-term MMO-career particularly with a female character there have to be other reasons. One thing I came to think about when I read the comments of the article mentioned above was the instinctual aspect. By that I mean the natural pinion or attraction of male people to females (not only human beings but also let us say elves and the likes). This is being boosted by the fact that female characters in most games are exceedingly attractive.
Besides, publishers often advertise their games with sexy artwork showing some lightly dressed females in an erotic pose in order to lure players with advertisements on many websites. Back to topic: That attractiveness leads to players rather choosing a female character just to have it permanently on the screen.
Beside that motive there is another one I could think of. That applies as the previous one not to every game but to the most, namely those which differ between female and male items. I think we agree about the fact that there are still more male characters than female ones. That automatically results in the increasement of demand of male items which increases the price. That is why it is, simply because of financial reasons, worth to create a female char since items for it are much cheaper to buy.
By that we get to the effects of that behaviour. Genderfaking has, as mentioned above, influence on the ingame economy. Another flashy fact in my eyes is that the word genderfaking always is negatively connoted although it does not really have negative impacts on the game itself. You play an MMO just because you want to be someone else.
The instrument genderfaking under circumstances and if being used professionally can be a medium for fraudulent activities. As a MMO newcomer you barely know anything about the demography of the scene or about the phenomenon genderfaking. You assume that there really is a girl in front of you and as a gentleman which we males all have somewhere inside of us you treat the genderfaker different, maybe without noticing it. The faker never knows if he can be successful but with enough experience he can take some advantages out of this. That may be a bit far-fetched but it is possible.
I described this phenomenon quite onesided and of course there is the contrary way but that is not really worthwhile for the few girls playing out there. I think the only reasons can be disguise or striving for acceptance in the group and the likes, so only psychological or social factors.
Now I want to allude to a rather sad chapter of the world of MMOs: the danger of addiction and its victims. If you would ask someone who plays quite a lot and who therefore neglects his "real life" the question if he thinks that he is addicted to the game the person most likely would answer No. Too often players do not notice how they back out of the society they were integrated in so well in the past. The dramatic realization happens too late and without a therapy their chances of getting back to life are really low. Nowadays media provides lots of information about it and many specialists discuss the problem and try to give advices. Let us take a look at some typical symptomes:
- Frequent insuperable demand for logging in
- Loss of control (you stay online for longer than you planned) resulting in feelings of guilt
- Noticable negative change of behaviour in front of your social circle; reprehensions from attachment figures
- Decreasing job performance / will to work
- Hiding / trivalizing the internet activity in front of your social circle
- Withdrawal symptoms (nervousness, fractiousness, depressions)
- Multiple failing in restricting internet activity
If you recognize all these symptoms on you, you should be worried about yourself. But even here we face a problem. Often players are very satisfied with their current situation and do not believe that a life without excessive gaming can be better.
With the increasing popularity of MMOs a new and till then unknown dimension of addiction has been opened. Partially MMOs can make you addict to them faster and for a longer period of time than conventional drugs like alcohol or cigarettes and the likes. That has got fatal impact on one's own social environment and mind but also on health in general due to the lack of movement.
MMOs have an unexpected strong attraction- and addiction potential and therefore one should always keep an eye on oneself when playing a game long-term. In Korea for instance, several young men died of thirst and starvation just because they forgot to eat and drink.
But you shouldn't panic now since I should mention that there are types of persons who are immune against this addiction, namely those who are especially socially distincted.
A small advice: If someone might worry about you concerning that issue please take it serious and think about what has changed in your life since you started playing the game. For those who still do not want to leave the game completely there is an opportunity for you, namely the offers of websites like this one. You can make use of tools and bots in order to have both, the game and your "real life".
- Overpowering in MMOs in connection with spending money
Many know it, many hate it, many take their advantage out of it. Overpowering of particular groups in a game can be found in any MMO of your choice, no matter if it is class- or racebased or like in the case I want to describe: the differing between paying and non-paying players.
On first sight it seems to be natural that players spending more money than others, for example for items, get advantages and the base of this idea is justified but there exist cases of exaggeration. A player spending less or no additional money on the game always should at least have the chance of beating someone who put a lot of money into the game, namely with experience. At the moment most MMO-societies are class-societies in which people who are rich independent from the game have more rights and more power.
I myself have seen how a MMO-company only provided game support for those who payed extra and game support without doubt has to be available for every player. Another example is a log-in system which won't let you log in within about 5 hours if you did not pay! That is definitely the wrong way but that method actually works because of the addiction-behaviour I already explained.
From the point of view of MMO publishers the case is quite clear. The player who pays most for their wages automatically has the right to be the most successful player. After all there is really a lot of work and effort in this game and the workers and developers want to get payed accordant. Some methods go too far but it is hard to do something about it since there are always enough players willing to pay money for the game.
I hope these thoughts and information are helpful and provide a base for decent discussions. I did my best making some things clear and also relinquishing my opinion and point of view. I know that it is impossible for me to include every single aspect of these issues in this article (you could fill books with that) but I still hope this article is sufficient.
Have fun reading,