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Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Issue : Games : Clique


Overwatch is a game about entitlement.

My DM's have turned into a slip and slide of people asking why they haven't seen me playing Overwatch as obsessively as in previous day/night cycles. It's a pretty simple reason, the reason most people stop doing things that they were previously doing. The game became boring.

Not boring in the systemic sense, the game is undeniably fun to play, although the systemic portion of the game is a contributor. Imagine you decided you were going to get really good at baseball and worked hard every day to learn the rules of the game. You figured out the dimensions of the field, what each player does, chose a position and learned every action and nuance of your role on the team.

Then you show up to play a competitive match in the game you took all that time to learn and it's completely different. The field is different, the players are different, the "feel" of the whole game is different. Some of the changes you can tell are for the better, some are kind of confusing, but the net-net is you have a day job and don't have the time to relearn the game every time it decides to shuffle the deck. It's a helpless state that implies gravity could change at a whim, so why even try.

Then there is the nugget of my withdrawal, which is... Ok, here's the thing. I come from an arcade competitive gaming culture. In the arcade, you physically saw the person you played against, there was smack talked, personal nemeses, times where you knew certain people were going to be at certain locations, so if you wanted to get better you knew to be there at that time; both to get better and to get your name out there so you would get invited to places where players of note were playing and receive insider information and strategy. Networking.

When the switch over to majority online play happened, a great deal of that culture died, but a savior of online culture was when a game allowed for personal servers. Hopping into a community server is like swinging open the doors in your favorite dive bar.

As of yet there is none of that in Overwatch. Yes there are amateur and professional circuits, robust Youtube and Twitch communities, and all types of other ancillary community platforming. But for a person starting out with just the base game you go in there solo-queue or teamed up with people you already know, you jump into a server full of random souls, accumulate numbers, which allow points, you use those points to purchase doo-dads that have no effect on gameplay, then you do that again and again. The higher the number, the higher your worth.

So there is the reason, I'm not going to continue playing Overwatch just because everyone seems to be playing it. I've been playing games for almost 3 decades and could give a shit less about keeping up with the Jonses. To continue playing a game it needs to tell me a story or I need to know who I am playing against. I'll form my own hierarchy of needs from there. OW is cool, I just don't think it's done yet.

I hope information is rooting for the Patriots so I have reason to hate you for more than your foolish Sagat. Also JERBZ.

* Edit: And of course 2 days after I write this Kaplan introduces server browsers. Cute.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People :  Savior-Faire

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