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The rat race


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#1 duke_Qa

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

Read this article where some writer complains/ponders about how life and the things we do are usually nothing more than checking off checkpoints on a list, by using Skyrim and other games as examples of how society imprints us to do so. Thought it was an interesting topic.
Some quote to set the mood, although I recommend reading it, it probably is quite relevant for most of us.

The office workers tell me they have no choice, that they've sacrificed their dreams because security is more important. Others would tell me there was no reason to look for something better, that menial job was good enough.


I have a close friend. Had? I'm not sure. Thing is, I try to push people to do something with their lives, to lead a life worth living. Sometimes, that can be jarring—it's not that I want to lead people's lives for them, but I'm adamant about making sure I surround myself with people who are like-minded. After a long stream of unfortunate events, this friend found himself penniless, living in his parents home without a job or a future. Once, he had a dream. He wanted to have his own game studio, he wanted to make triple-A games. He had ideas, ambition, drive. That all disappeared with the stifling, deadening air of depression. Years have gone by, and there he is, still. Living in that same town, not doing much with his life. "You need to go out there and do things. Let me help you. You have so much to offer the world," I would tell him. "What's the point? What if I don't really want to do anything ‘meaningful,' what if I'm happy exactly where I am? Why try?" he would ask me.


Security vs dreams, and shattered dreams. If I had to wager on something I'd say we are living in the "age of broken dreams". Or perhaps the age of disillusionment, for better or worse. Maybe this is just a phase of life most people go through, maybe its something that more people have been exposed to with the recession and the easy access to internet.

I dunno if there is a question to add to this thread, or if its just a statement. The article rang true in my ears, so I figured it deserved a mention.

Edited by duke_Qa, 17 April 2012 - 10:01 PM.

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#2 Pasidon

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:19 PM

Actually, Skyrim is all about questing, killing and looting while following several story lines... any other attributes are falsely assumed, like family values and home improvement. You're allowed to marry for financial benefits and upgrading your houses to make them better at servicing and storing your loot... you don't have to be a nutty werido who actually gets attached to his video game family. Your wife in Fable II may suddenly vanish due to a Hob Goblin attack... heart crushed! Refund!

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#3 duke_Qa

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:38 AM

Well, its not the only game that is mentioned in the article, if you read it you might recognize the elements she finds troublesome. I personally don't play much of these RPGs just because they feel like checklists at times. Sure Skyrim and Oblivion and whatnot can be played for a while just to enjoy the story, but once you start doing every little quest there is and even starting on dynamically generated quests, then its nothing more than a grind within a grind. I'd rather spend my free time on productive grind in that case.

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#4 Bart

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:05 PM

Grinding is an easy way to add length to a game, but since most of that is wasted time, it actually decreases the game's value. I don't know why it exists.
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#5 Radspakr Wolfbane

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:28 PM

Maybe it's an infection from MMOs.
Since MMOs went big I guess people want pure length in a game but where the grind is important to an MMO it's worthless in a normal RPG.

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#6 Pasidon

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:52 PM

Yea, MMOs use grinding since... well... how else are you going to spend hundreds of hours being occupied by the game? I'm specifically thinking of WoW... where each expansion brings you about 5-110 hours of original gameplay yet people need to spend around 500 hours in each expansion it to be satisfied. It's based around daily challenges were you constantly do the same missions over again, even if you're max level... just to get a rare piece of loot. Most of the time, the loot is purely cosmetic. I'm pretty happy that WoW is sort of collapsing with this mass of far betters MMOs coming out that look so much better and have superior mechanics. Because seriously... Pandas?

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