In view of the WOW expansion The Wrath of the Lich King, I feel it is my duty to blow hate all over MMORPGs like a zit on a mirror, or load on a porn star's face.
The lifestyle. If you get into an MMORPG, it becomes your life. You learn to sustain yourself on Hot Pockets and microwavable burritos, like college all over again, if you take the time to eat at all. Your muscles become jello because you don't move anything other than your mouse hand, which in some cases is your jerking hand, for hours on end and you don't stand up enough to realize your ass has become flat like so many teachers. You gain copious amounts of weight from the two minute meals, Mountain Dew, and sedentary lifestyle. You begin to breath like an asthmatic... who also happens to be a child molester watching anime... at a Toys R' Us... and most human interaction is degraded to heavy breathing and grunts over a headset.
Before you say, "Jimmy, I play MMORPGs and I'm not grossly overweight," first stop and think how much of a shit I actually give about you. It's not much, if at all, and maybe you should stop now before it's too late. The next thing you know all your friends will spell their names in leet speak, you have no idea what they look like in person, you haven't had sex in recent memory, you're skin is pale, you're riddled with acne, and your family has declared you legally dead.
The grind. South Park got it right with the episode Make Love Not Warcraft. Every MMORPG is based on mindless repetition or "grind," as it's so affectionately called. As long as you are willing to sacrifice your social life, and exposure to the sun, you can hang around in virtual forests killing boars until you hit the level cap. I understand there are some things that never lose their charm no matter how much you do them (sex) but I can't comprehend why anybody would want to sit at a computer all day and do the same thing over and over again. That sounds an awful lot like my day job. Why would I want to do work at home and not get paid for it? Not only would I not get paid for it, I'd have to pay to play my job!
Maybe you get really good at playing, or you've hit the level cap, or you have enough gold to buy everything in the game, is that something you want to be proud of, something you can brag about? Sure there are a handful of people who might look at you in admiration, but do you really want to be admired by those people, the people I described above? Let's say you do, congratulations, you are now on the same level as a robotic welder on a car assembly line.
Monthly fees. I read somewhere that in all the years WOW has been out, it has only cost Blizzard $200 million for upkeep. Even if it's double that amount to pay employee salaries, they still make obscene amounts of money. Let's figure there's an average of 8 million active players at any given time since the game was released, each paying an average of $15 per month. The game has been out for 4 years. Let's multiply all of those together and take that figure to the floor for botched averages and we have $5 billion dollars. Even after subtracting expenses, we still have over $4 billion. That's some serious burning money. The kind of money that would sustain a hefty cocaine addiction for your entire life, all 5 years of it.
I'm all for capitalism but I'm in greater favor of ethics and morality. Ethically there isn't anybody being hurt by them charging monthly fees, but they are hurting the environment with fields of discarded demo discs. The fee might discourage some people from playing, which saves energy, but they are offering a product which uses energy, negating any positivity.
I'm no business man, but with every technology or product, once you attain and maintain an install base and your budget goes green, you lower costs. I know I'm talking to the wall with this argument, because I have yet to propose a valid complaint about making money hand over fist, but something doesn't sit right with me. Clearly WOW, or any MMORPG, is addicitve and they're using the drug dealer mentality of "the first one's free," but that doesn't bother me. What bothers me is they aren't giving anything back to the hopeless reclusives they are perpetuating and inspiring every single day. Sure they've released an expansion, but that cost considerably less than $100 million to make.
I guess in the long run I don't really care. Enjoy paying your money to form meaningless relationships with virtual characters raiding fantasy camps in a superficial world, while I'm having sex with my wife in the real world.
Filed under: by: Jimmy the Greek