Where have all the gamers gone?

by Tonya Foust

A paradigm shift in the gaming world.

Perhaps I am being too sensitive, perhaps I am just letting the seemingly prevailing winds of the world affect my gaming vision or perhaps I am seeing a true shift!

If you play MMORPGs (Massive Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games) you may know what I am talking about.

It seems that of late (and by that I mean the past several months) people who play these games (Everquest, Everquest II, City of Heroes, Star Wars Galaxies, etc.) have taken a different attitude towards the whole gaming experience.

Gone are the days when you could log into the game, find some people to group with and enjoy the experience of exploring the world, hunting and gaining insight into your character.

Today, it seems to be all about the Benjamins (or credits or influence or platinum or...). I have had more disconcerting evenings because I have logged on and looked for a group or some help with a quest or a mission and heard "Sure, I'll help... What do I get out of it?"

What do you get out of it? How about the pleasure of exploring a new part of the world, of killing (or apprehending) a new mob, of discovering a new artifact or even, dare I say it, just having fun! When did gaming become all about acquiring stuff? When did possessions or money become so much more important than the enjoyment of the game and meeting new people and seeing new things?

Ah, well, perhaps I am just an aging gamer who pines for the days when she could ask for help, go on an adventure and be satisfied with the only reward being the pleasurable experience and company. I guess I just needed to thump my cane and see if anyone was listening.

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