Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Genre Addiction article posted on gamedev.net

Gamdev.net was kind enough to post my essay on genre addiction earlier today. You can find the full text here:

Folks have posted a few typos that I'll fix as soon as I get back into town. Comments are very welcome.


1 comment:

  1. My first post here so in advance:
    That's a great site with stirring and thrilling content.

    Some years ago I was thinking about what I'll do with my life.
    I was sure that I want to create software... but was unsure which kind of software I want to create.
    At this time I did my first experiences with game-development.
    I created some low Res textures for a community contest of the game "Neocron"... a game I was willed to play but
    it was still in the beta stage so this contest made it possible to be druggy of a game I even didn't play one minute.
    When I finally was able to play the game in open beta stage it was pretty cool to see some of my textures ingame.
    And this was the beginning of all. The beginning of my addiction to MMORPGs and the beginning of finding a way to create
    software without to make people workless... -to make them happy... at least untill they recognize after some weeks/months
    that they wasted their time in a virtual world and sometimes lost control of their Real Life.
    A virtual world which gave them the feeling to be someone important... someone successful.
    I met a lot of different people ingame. People who where already workless and I guess tried to find something which makes
    their life more delightful. Which gave them a feeling to be a part of something which also cares about them because they were
    pissed of all the Real Life crap out there... the frustration to find no job or at least cos they were bored and alone.
    The second type of players I found ingame where childen who still were pupils... spending nearly all their freetime to levelup
    and "be someone".
    I was one of the third group. A guy working at a company who was totally addicted to this game.
    At this time I spend all my freetime to play. And a lot of times when I was at work my primary part of my brain was still playing and
    power posting in the Forums of this game. Hell... today I can say that I am a lucky guy that my boss was so stupid and
    I was able to tell him that I need 2 weeks to write a simple Excel-Makro for example... cos 9 of 10 of these days I was posting
    or just planning my new skill configurations.
    Anyways... I nearly lost my job. That's what I believe today. Or whats good for me to believe because my boss always commend my work.
    One night, I'll never forget this feeling, somehting in my head changed. It made "click" and I recognized that all I did in the last years
    was fooling my boss and playing this game... well... basically I fooled myself.
    Covert in a warm coat of ingame-fame I didn't see that I spend one whole year playing a game with tons of bugs, with people
    who basically were friendly when they wanted to buy cheep mikrochips to improve their characters, doing the same things every days
    unable to feel that I was actually bored since 9 months only because of the feeling that I want to have another cap-character.
    The same feeling you have as a dope fiend. The feeling to want to have the next intoxication is overwhelmed any kind of rational
    thoughts to do something useful with my life at (RL-)earth.

    The slogan of ReaKKtor (the creator of Neocron) was: ReaKKtor - Creating better worlds.
    For some months this was true. I just enjoyed playing. But after some months the joy disappeard and only the addiction stayed.

    But in the end games are only one drug of thousands out there. Today everyone wants to sell drugs to you. -Or in other words- everything
    can be a drug if you handle it wrong. Turn on the TV. TV itself is a drug. While watching you get spammed with advertising which
    can result in another drug addiction... like eating all day in front of your TV. And so on...

    So back to my craving to develop game...
    For me gamedevelopment is something like a drug. But it's a drug with nearly only positiv effects.
    Who knows... maybe one of the games I (help to) develop will make some peoples workless because they got addicted.
    Maybe a girlfriend will leave his boyfriend cos of his addiction to games.

    But something we should never forget is like it is with all things in life.
    If you do things with caution and if you know that you are addicted to for example games very fast you can use only the positive effects of these drugs and enrich your life. It only needs some self-regulation.
    Something childen still have to learn. So imo it's definitely up to the parents to teach this kind of self-regulation to teir childs. And if necassary to restrict gaming to a special period of time.
    As you have mentioned in the "The child and the glass of poison: Our social duty to educate" article also the game industry should do something. Workless and uneducated people don't have money to buy stuff... so game industry only shoot their own leg.

    That most game-publishers want to sell as much copies as possible of their games at all costs and that they don't care about personal fates is saddly something we (you and me) can't change.

    Humans want drugs. Humans want at least the possibility to destroy themselfs.