A casual look will do

As well as being unable to summon up much MMOG playing enthusiasm, I was getting a bit jaded of the MMOG-o-blog-o-sphere, this place included (hmmm, I wonder if there could possibly be a link?) Then all of a sudden, a bunch of stuff turned up in this morning’s Google Reader trawl that caused me to adopt a contemplative pose and gesture with an imaginary pipe while going “ng, ng, ng, you’re so very right, of course”. Coincidental publishing of pertinent pieces, or the caffeine perk of an extra cup of coffee making the world a brighter place? Either way…

Firstly, Zubon picks out a bit of Gödel, Escher, Bach (a book I keep meaning to read) and asks “Can there really be enough content in a game to entertain you for years, not months?”, which sort of ties in with some thoughts I had about MMOGs never ending.

Then Will Wallace announced a rather splendid new name for his site, The Skinnerboxer Rebellion, inspired by his previous piece, Why Can’t I WoW Like I Used To?, a great post I very much agree with. It also ties in neatly with Zubon’s Hofstadter quotes, particularly “The behavior space of a person is just about complex enough that it can continually surprise other people…” with the suggestions for encouraging emergent player behaviour.

While those suggestions are excellent, one aspect they don’t really touch on so much are time constraints, and how they can make social interaction difficult without some sort of asynchronous aspect, something I very briefly mentioned when looking at the average play session length of Half Life 2. And what else should be in the feed-o-matic than Tuebit’s Deep… Hard… and Casual from WorldIV that includes a manifesto I can really get behind (IYKWIM) (AITYD), including asynchronous play. And just to round up the fundamental interconnectedness of the blognoverse, that post links to an intriguing pointer to Warrior Epic (not quite sure about the name, though, looks a bit much like a random juxtaposition from a pack of MMO Word Fridge Magnets) at Lagorama, which in turn thrusts hard and deeply back into the casualness with Why Is RMT In MMORPGs The Target Of So Much Hatred?, picking up the “we’ve got money now” point and running with it.

Phew. I think that’s used up my ‘a href’ quota for the year already. Thought provoking posts, eh? They’re like buses: big, red and have chewing gum on the seats. Hang on, I mean: you wait all week, then five turn up at the same time. Linked to each other. With comment threads.