Title: David Sirlin believes that World of Warcraft teaches the wrong things.
Posted: March 03, 2006 (10:49 AM)
In words of a friend, who graciously led me to this article on Gamasutra:
"So we return inevitably back to his World of Warcraft soapbox, in which he makes several claims against the game - such that it encourages time spent over natural skill, and that it teaches game players "the wrong thing." He seems distraught that the game - as he sees it - encourages almost pointless banding together when people should be striving to better themselves and hone their own skills to become a champion. He's disgusted at the thought that in order to succeed in this game, you in fact must band with others and really can't choose to play amongst but not with others. In other words, "playing alone - together."
I think that he believes too much in himself. It's not that World of Warcraft teaches the wrong things, but that it teaches different things. Experience as well as skill is equally valid, and experience takes time. Being able to coordinate and manage a guild has its worth in the corporate world or any task that involves a team. Delegating tasks, dealing with others, and ensuring stability are all skills that are not just honored but necessary. In fact, World of Warcraft may be teaching the right things.
In the real world, success isn't just built around yourself. Yes, you have to be confident, strong, diligent, and wise. But if you want to succeed, you need a team. It is just a fact of life. Koby Bryant needs his agent, his publisher, and his coach. A-List actors also need their agent, their publisher, their secretary... And name one military force that doesn't promote teamwork? Besides, haven't we learned since the wee days of Saturday cartoons that teamwork and cooperation is good? You know, the Power Rangers, the Ninja Turtles, and even Yu-Gi-Oh's friends combine their forces to protect peace. Furthermore, from an economics point of view, trading amongst each other, be it material possessions, skills, or time, means more for everyone. Interacting and exchanging with others is beneficial to both parties, beyond just "being alone together".
You can only do so much by yourself.
And while he says that the game forces cooperation - well, that comes directly from the game design, its purpose? But just the idea that they have to cater to everyone is wanting too much. Why should World of Warcraft lighten its hand to introverts, as he says? I mean, would you ask role-playing games to be more endearing to the multi-player, or extroverted players? And aren't MMORPG's supposed to be a response to this?
No matter how much something is tweaked, there's always going to be players that aren't going to like the game. It's natural. And though there's always room for improvement, I feel that his argument grabs too much in this respect - saying that the core rules of WoW are intrinsically incorrect because he doesn't like the game and "I'm going to force my opinion with back-handed knowledge".
Posted: March 03, 2006 (03:35 PM)
Back in the days of MUDding, I joined a clan and eventually ended up leading that clan and turning it into the most feared group of player-killers on the entire MUD.
That experience has helped me tremendously in moving from a lowly typist up to corporate management. So, I would actually agree with you that World of Warcraft is indeed teaching useful life skills.
Posted: March 05, 2006 (08:11 PM)
You know, years ago on Megaman 64 they said one person can only do so much, I firmly believe that, and always will. Even Perfect Dark has a teamwork option.