The Future Isn’t Now

So yesterday Will sent out word that a story of his, Griefer, had been published in The Escapist.

It’s heady stuff and I won’t do it the disservice of my glowing, fanboy-ish praise or some cherry-picked pull-quote. I’ll just say that if you’ve ever played any social game – be it online or pen-and-paper or even Guitar Hero over beers at a party – you’ll see aspects of your own personality (or hopefully someone else’s) in the characters and situations presented therein.

It’s good. I’ll leave it at that. Go read it.

Oh, and Will has a very interesting story today on his blog. Not fiction – though it’s about a piece of fiction and his personal involvement with it – but it’s incredibly gripping.

Since we’re on the tip of fiction today, and fiction about gameplaying and fantasy and worlds (virtual and real), I’m going to link to an awesome comment from MeFi, ostensibly about a *game* “Outside” but actually a clever commentary on an article from The Escapist, The Myth of the Media Myth.

In terms of the social environment, almost anything goes. Outside has a vast network of guilds, many of its players are active participants in designing the game’s social environment, and almost any player will be able to find company to undertake their desired group quests. On the other hand, gold-buying is rife, the outskirts of virtually every city zone in the game are completely overrun by farmers, and the developers have so far proven themselves reluctant to answer petitions, intervene in inter-player disputes, or nerf broken skills and abilities. Indeed this reviewer will go so far as to say that the developers are absent from the game entirely, and have left it to its own devices. Fortunately, server uptime has been 100% from day 1, despite there being only one server for literally billions of players.

The above-linked article is a well-written account of where and how people acquire their negative impressions of games, gamers and the gaming industry. A good read as well.

For my part, I’m only now dipping my toe into the full-on fiction pool. If you’re reading this blog regularly I won’t mention my current obsession with 1,024 characters.

I’m also a gamer. I play WoW casually (my wife might disagree) every evening for about an hour.

I also once tried to create my own card game. The files are on this here blog somewhere, but I won’t link them, mostly because the mechanics sucked. Card games are the business of mathematicians and not wannabe writers anyhow.

Takeaways: Will is talented. Take Will’s advice about writing because he’s had his writing published and it’s clever. And not in a 5-year-old juggling kind of way.

Also, The Escapist is cool. I’ve gotten links there before but I haven’t become a regular reader/surfer until now.

That is all.

2 thoughts on “The Future Isn’t Now

  1. You know, Seth, a lot of great card games have been designed by non-math types. (Some lousy card games have been designed with airtight math, too.) You’d be surprised how late in the process a card game can be statistically vetted and still be good, I think.

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