Tuesday 22 March 2011

Thought for the day.

A search for “voice of merrill” using Google – because I couldn’t remember Eve Myles’ name – actually returned nothing to do with the Bioware RPG character until I amended my Google-fu by appending “dragon age” to the search string. What it does turn up is a British mystery B-movie called The Voice of Merrill. You learn something new every day, and now I’m going to have to search out that film and watch it.

Strange how we make discoveries sometimes, and strangely apt that Bioware’s RPGs are part of the subset of games where you can still make obscure discoveries through accidental action, be it a conversation option which had unintended consequences, or by searching for something specific in a quest and stumbling across another quest line entirely.

So here’s to the grand RPG tradition of the out-of-the-way quest; the mysterious object off the beaten path; the good deed repaid in kind at an unexpected time later on; the stumbled-upon puzzle; and other such deviations from the course considered tried and true. And here’s hoping that our theme park MMOs never forget these traditions as they attempt to optimise game-play for an ever-increasing audience seemingly uninterested in the delights of discovery, only in the projection of performance and prominence among peers.

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