O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Like fresh snow falling on the frozen river, there are those of us in the MMO genre who settle but briefly, and are prone to drift when winter comes. Yet we mustn’t forget that this genre is built in layers, and beneath the drift are those whose attentions lay across a single game, their focus forming a frozen foundation, their passion packed solid around its structure; we can find within this silent stable scene reflections and echoes of that once tumultuous mighty river, which carried us along to unseen destinations in a frothing frenzy of chaos and excitement.

Still, the genre does indeed seem frozen to many of us who drift. With the onset of winter, the silence descends. The thunderous gods of the waters stand muted and still, an eerie quiet envelops the thickly blanketed wood through which the river runs: all the harsh blows of sound are deadened by that shield of snowy silence. Exuberance hibernates within her den, curled up in quiet content alongside Clamour and Activism. This winterish discontent causes a melancholy view, all is frozen and still, all is bland and featureless.

The blankness of this cold carpet canvas, which with numbing despotism across the genre lies, yet leaves us with a small fire of faith, carefully kindled, towards which we can hold out the hands of our hope and keep them warm: the great thaw will eventually come, and with it a new world appears, reinvigorated and renewed.

I certainly find it hard to weather these winters in the land of Blog. Inspiration most often comes from playing: interaction and frustration are the foodstuffs upon which my muse feasts, before dumping her digested diatribes upon the page for your consumption. Yes indeed, reading a post equates to eating muse manure. And it is not adversity which prevents me from playing, on the contrary, because adversity is the Beef Wellington of muse foodstuffs: a hearty fare which fills to bursting point the stomach of seething satire. No, it is the bland formulaic mediocrity which starves the muse, rice and curds which neither offend the palette nor delight, but provide the base, the nutrition of entertainment, and nothing more. It is docile entertainment. Without passion. Lobotomised. I found the same when playing through the two DLC modules for Dragon Age 2 recently; having finished them both I could not deny that I had been entertained –entertainment had occurred– but it was the sweaty discomfort of sitting in an entertainment sauna, as opposed to the fiery consuming passion of being burnt at the entertainment stake.

Winter is here, and there’s barely enough fuel to cook the muse a modest meal, let alone build a pyre to ignite the imagination. Here’s hoping that an infusion of vernal freshness into the genre is not far behind.

6 thoughts on “O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

  1. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    Honestly, this post is a thing of philological beauty.

    I don’t care what you do as long as you keep writing. If you need inspiration, I’ll do something stupid. Maybe it’s time to “accidentally” release that sex tape….

  2. ArcherAvatar

    Ok, first; I definitely vote “yeah” on the accidental release thingy! However, I do often wear a T-shirt that reads “WARNING: I’m about to do something stupid. Please stand back!”

    Second; The launch of Guild Wars 2 will save humanity from the rise of the machines, end the rule of despots throughout the world, correct and perfect the democratic political system, end world famine, replace the use of fosil fuels with clean infinite energy, give every a child a puppy AND a kitten, and poach eggs to the exact perfect consistency EVERY… SINGLE… TIME…!

    and um… that should all be happening sometime… soon? I hope…?

    and Third; I hesitate to advocate the use of psychological torture on poor Melmoth but, the dude is a f***ing poet and clearly we will all benefit greatly from his continued ennui and general emotional suffering. (Seriously man, if that’s the kind of prose you’re capable of when you have nothing to talk about you need to be locked up in isolation! That was beautiful.)

  3. Melmoth Post author

    @Bronte: Well, Ned was technically wrong about not losing his head, but I think he was talking about temper tantrums at the time.

    @Brian: Okay, okay! Just don’t release it, all right? Jeez, you have sex with an MMO developer ONE TIME, and they’re all ‘keep writing or I’ll release the tape!’. T’ch, you know, I’m sure it’s supposed to work the other way around between fans and developers.

    @ArcherAvatar: 2012 is often touted as ushering in a dramatic change to the world as we know it. Guild Wars 2 is to be released in 2012. Coincidence?

    And thank you both for the kind praise, I’m not very good at handling it though, so I’ll probably just go and write an emo poem or something.

    There once was a blogger named Melmoth,
    Whose self-assurance was solid as wet cloth…

  4. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    Melmoth wrote:
    T’ch, you know, I’m sure it’s supposed to work the other way around between fans and developers.

    Look, I told you going into this that I was a shameless American. Not my fault you didn’t listen. ;)

    Now shush and back to writing!

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