Truly epic gaming
Just a weird thought I had, that I'm brainstorming out loud.
Gaming, at least in MMOs, has a pretty flat spectrum of what players actually do in them. Run through dungeons, fight bosses, attain loot, craft, fish and so on. But everyone does that, or can do that. So what would make me have an epic gaming session or fight over someone else? Where does the "epic" come in. Is it when you fight the Lich King? Or is epicness measured more by time? If someone downs the Lich King within the first few days of the content's release? Or on your first try?(which would mostly make it epic to the one doing it, and I'd argue that's a very good reason to take joy in a form of entertainment -- for yourself).
But I wanted to try a project about epic-gaming. After looking at games(MMOs in particular), what they allow players to do, how players can approach parts of those games differently and what other gamers look to as epic, I've come to a conclusion to try an experiment where the player has to put in a modicum of activity to heighten one's own enjoyment factor.
I’m going to play two games; Guild Wars 2 and a MUD. In each one, I am going try and dabble in every aspect of the game(that it lets me), but from a predominantly roleplaying point of view.
I am going to pay keen attention to everything, use my imagination and write it all down.
When I’m done(having sufficiently performed an activity or seven in each aspect of the games), I’ll go back and organize my writing, with my memories and write a character-story out of it.
I think it’s hard to rely on someone else to spoon-feed epicness to us, because in games, our enjoyment in a lot of MMOs is contingent on our interaction with that game, and that requires input from the player, no matter how basic.
If a player turns off every inkling of imagination and relies on the game to provide “fun”, I think players are going to find that they really won’t find a game that’s that much more fun than the last game they chose to play.
Even games that are collectively agreed upon to be better, like Skyrim, are likely just jostling the player’s(who chose to play) imagination in different ways. I could be wrong, though.
Anyway, I’ll try to keep the experiment on the fun side and not philosophize too much.
Jeremy StrattonJeremy is an Autodidact, Gamer, Bibliophile, and self-proclaimed writer. He's obsessed with user-generated content in games and is a former Contributing Editor and livestreamer for Massively.com. He also loves photography and cooking.
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