Tuesday, February 14, 2006


February the 13th has to be the blogotherapy day at Ars Technica. Jeff Smykil starts by illustrating his childhood years in rural America.

I grew up in a small city in New England. Many of you would that inhabit cities with more than 5 digits worth of people would probably scoff at this area being depicted as a city. In this city the only real form of public transportation was a bus system that all of three or four people enjoyed a day.

And then he goes on describing us his phobias.

It is for this reason that I am terrified of any real form of public transportation. Taking the 'T' in Boston is a journey which I would rather avoid. More often than not my 'T' rides are spent staring straight ahead with my mouth shut. Waiting at the platform makes me nervous. Some sort of fear of being pushed in, mugged, being hit by a train, or being electrocuted by that infamous rail that electrocutes people. Then there is the filth. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a clean freak, my apartment is quite dirty, but that is familiar dirt and grime. It's the unfamiliar dirt and grime that lurk in subway stations and public restrooms that I could do without.

But wait, it gets better. Rodney Quinn steps in.

I guess I just hunger for a little more... humanity from the community. Games like this lose so much purity when the vast majority of players disperse an opaque cloud of leetisms in both global and local chats (even on the RP servers from what I've seen) and any shred of pathos or genuine immersion that one could feel while playing is killed in a tangle of obscure acronyms and stat-mongering. Perhaps it's the materialism of our modern culture carrying over into the digital realms of Azeroth, or maybe it's the way the game is designed.

And then for the great finale.

I dunno. I know that this is what mainstream gaming is all about, but sometimes I look at WoW, and it's like seeing Santa Claus at the mall and realizing he's not really Santa, he's just some dude getting paid. Does this make sense to anyone at all?

We'll be honest with you guys: No, it doesn't.


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