Quote of the Day

“Games are supposed to be fun, and SWTOR gets that – a point too many MMO developers have forgotten.”

~ Scott Jennings

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7 thoughts on “Quote of the Day

  1. I’m not a big fan of the word “fun”. Hopefully at this point in the world of MMO analysis and criticism we can think of more apt and descriptive words than fun.I think “enjoyment” is a better word. Games should provide some form of enjoyment; I can agree with that.

    The question is how is this achieved? Enjoyment can mean different things to different people. I like to think that challenge is something that produces enjoyment.

    Scott’s analysis is that having lightsabers and being a Jedi is fun. That sounds more to me like the design of a child’s toy than a serious game. Or what children do at Halloween, trick or treating in costumes; that is fun. (I suppose kids are actually role-playing at Halloween which is not a bad thing which is more than you can say for the RP that goes on in most MMORPGS’s these days.)

    Another problem with Scott’s statement is the use of the word “games”. Is SWTOR a game? Evidently the two founders of Bioware seem to think so in their introductory message in the SWTOR launcher where nowhere is the word “world” mentioned. For shame…

    I prefer to think of the Star Wars Universe as more of a world than a game. I’m sure if you asked Luke Skywalker or any of the other characters in Star Wars if they were playing a “game” they’d be offended and probably slice your head off.

  2. I feel like someone could develop a drinking game around Wolfsheads post and I typically enjoy thinly veiled anger.

    The S.S. Mad-At-Bioware-Because-Star-WoW sailed a long time ago man, we’ve all known exactly what sort of game they’ve been making for years now.

    Mechanically speaking TOR is a very remarkable game, hell the game mechanics are easily the most thought out and well done part. I’ve played several classes into their 20s an a few more into their 30s and they all play remarkably well, mostly thanks to their fairly intuitive and easy to grasp resource systems. Juggernauts have the worst of it simply because their resource generation is far too proc based until you go deep in the trees, but that’s a minor quibble overall I think.

    Sure I can easily pick apart the many varied failings of the vaunted “forth pillar” aspects and the horrid, terrible UI that makes me want to toss the designer in an active volcano, but I think objecting to calling the game “fun” is going a bit far.

  3. Not that I expected to find myself agreeing with Wolfshead but for years I railed against the use of the word “fun” in this context. It’s about as useful a descriptor as “nice” and you know what your creative writing teacher told you about that one…

    I’m also with him on “game”. Not being a gamer and not wanting to become one I tried for the longest time not to use the term “game” to describe MMOs. I used often to opine that the single most unfortunate thing that ever happened to the genre was the acquisition of the term MMORPG, of which the only indisputable element was the “O”. I’ve always been in the “Virtual World” camp and I used to use that term instead of MMORPG until I got fed up of having to footnote every time.

    Just for the non-existent record, I don’t sit down after work to “play games” and I am not interested in “having fun”. Or I didn’t. Context being all, I may now be doing both despite my own best intentions.

  4. I spent a good 5 mins trying to figure out how Scott Jennings blog is the wrong place to be uttering “fun” but that makes my head hurt. I’m going to just chalk it up to pedantry and call it quits.

    Instead I’ll move on to the 2nd paragraph. You’re against the connotations of “game” I take it? I imagine you believe it makes things sound frivolous and such. Whereas “virtual world” sounds important and worthwhile.

    Yet “virtual world” has its own design connotations. Typically the same ones invoked by “sandbox” and almost none of those apply to TOR. In TOR you have exactly two worlds you can inhabit, the one the developers give to you and the meta world of guilds, forums, and drama that develops around it like a pearl. A “virtual world” should have both of those worlds and a third, a world that grows out of both of the former and links them together in an indelible way.

    I see no way for any sober person to claim that TOR exists in such a state. So I can’t fathom why you’re objecting to calling it a “game.” Because what Bioware has given us IS ultimately frivolous; just like WoW, EQ, and a dozen other games before it. The meta that coalesces around the game might be more important to people on an individual basis. But there is nothing in the base material that has been presented to us that is near that.

    But hey, at least we can agree that MMORPG has become a near meaningless abbreviation, just like JRPG, WRPG, action, adventure, action/adventure, and probably a few others I’m forgetting.

    And just to ride the semantics train just s little further, I do come home from work eager to “play games” and “have fun.” Even when it isn’t video games I’m playing. These are also paramount when I’m playing Dark Heresy, Judge Dredd, Mutants & Masterminds, Pathfinder, etc.

    Hey! Maybe the drinking game should be a shot for every pair of quote marks around a single word or phrase. It can also be expanded to include their entire posts comment section.

  5. What’s the big appeal about a Star Wars MMO?

    I think most people want to be part of the Star Wars world or universe along with other people. I guarantee you, that statement in some form or another is found in the executive summary of the official SWTOR design document.

    For SWTOR to be successful it has to be much more than a game; it has to capture the imagination of people that are interested in the Star Wars cosmos and give them a chance to be transported there.

    Of course if you want to play a mere game then there are quite a few previous Star Wars games available.

    Calling SWTOR just a game is doing it a disservice. Words matter.

  6. @Wolfshead

    What is a “serious game”? Does it not involve roleplaying? Does it contain too much challenge to make it appealing for children? Is the association of video games with children one that bothers you much?

    “For SWTOR to be successful it has to be much more than a game; it has to capture the imagination of people that are interested in the Star Wars cosmos and give them a chance to be transported there.”

    The Star Wars films and novels appear to have successfully fulfil these criteria. Why would a ‘game’ by any different?

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