Hollow Earth

Describing Myst Online: Our Mushroom Kingdom

Reading an article in the New York Times about the new Mario game, I came across a passage that, to me, seemed to be an example of what I see when disillusioned people view Myst Online. Seth Schiesel wrote:

Like dancing or physical intimacy, a great game can truly be understood only through experience, not words. When reduced to a mere description — “Pass around small bits of laminated card stock in place of money” (poker), or “Roll imprinted cubes and buy fictional properties” (Monopoly) — even the most captivating games can seem impossibly boring.

This is what I see when people say that, when Myst Online isn’t in an episode, that it’s nothing but a “3d chatroom”. Or the people who say that, even when the episode is going, that it’s nothing but “drama”. As if drama were this horrid and undesirable thing, like polio. What they do is take something that could very well be fun and cut it off at its knees before trying to experience it. And this is a very real danger as this cynicism spreads to those who read it. You inevitably see the game less as an experience but as words. And that does harm to the community.

Certainly, everyone knows that there’s not much new content outside of the episodes. Maybe a spark or two, but nothing big. Yes, in words the game is a 3d chatroom. It is that, though, only for those without imagination. You can do that with anything. Why would I want to watch TV? It’s just watching a bunch of lights change colors while listening to someone else speak. Why read? Why would I want to read specially-shaped blobs of stain on dead tree parts?

On the side of the experience, certainly many get bad experiences due to un-informed or un-intelligent people. However, you should still be able to keep your mind open to those possibilities.

In a nutshell, it should be quite simple, if you can find things to be interested in, you should enjoy the game (not wholeheartedly, necessarily). If you can find nothing that interests you, you should not hang around to emerge and make a snippy, sarcastic critique of how horrible the game is. If you want the game to be a success, be constructive.


Filed under: Gaming

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All posts are my opinion only and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others.
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