Virtual democracy in action
So while I’m waiting for reports to come in from Nazgrim on his mission to this new mystery continent, I’ve been putting in a little gaming time. My Earth Online playing has been pretty sporadic lately, what with everything going on with the Theramore attack and its aftermath, and the side trip to Karazhan, so I still haven’t made nearly as much headway into the new EO Land Down Under expansion as I would have liked. Although, I’ve got to tell you, that’s just freaky coincidence right there — I mean, what are the odds that EO would put out an expansion adding a new major continent in the southern oceans…and then a couple weeks later, in real life, some whole new continent just shows up in the southern ocean. I think that’s one of those deals that you call life imitating art. Or I guess you COULD call it that, if you count a videogame as art. Which you shouldn’t, because let’s face it, that’s kind of retarded.
The big gaming news is that this week Earth Online FINALLY had its big contest to determine who would be one of the major faction leaders. Honestly, after all the hype and the constant talk about it, more than anything I’m just glad to have it over and done with. In case you’re interested and didn’t already know and are sitting there all in suspense, by the way, the current faction leader won, so he gets to go on being faction leader. How’s that for excitement? Enough high drama for you?
Anyway, as much as it was annoying having to hear about this world event, like, CONSTANTLY, it actually WAS kind of fun to see it play out. The event had a lot of parts to it, going on for months, but it all capped with the big Election Day world event earlier this week, and that was actually kind of interesting. First you would have your own individual contribution to one side or the other, where you would fight your way through to go to the polls, and click on a ballot box to align yourself with one of the candidates. Getting there was no small feat, though, what with there being watchdog groups hanging around outside all the polling stations trying to block you from getting in to support one side or the other. And I mean literal watchdog groups, with packs of great danes and rottweilers.
So once you had yourself aligned, you could be recruited to go help with the nationwide campaign, which basically was kind of a resource gathering contest. Basically there would be these “electoral points” you could win zone by zone, and whoever collected a certain number of them first would win. So mostly you would go to these designated “battleground states”…which were just these huge free-for-all PVP zones where you would flag yourself for one of the two sides and have at it against the other guy’s supporters. I don’t think I have to tell you I had a pretty good time running around pwning face in one state after another. Unfortunately I mostly got stuck with a bunch of clueless ungeared nubs who didn’t know how the fuck to PVP, so I spent a lot of the time in bgstate chat yelling at them for being idiots. So, you know.
Anyway, it was a pretty fun time in general, but probably the most entertaining part was watching all the nerdraging that went on after the outcome was decided. Oh man, do these dorks ever get mad when things don’t go their way. You would think it was the RL fucking apocalypse. You had the doom-and-glood crowd going on about how this used to be a good game and now that players have destroyed it and it’s all going to be ruined and OMG EMO EMO EMO. And then you had the conspiracy nuts going on about how the devs just rigged the whole thing and faked it to look like we could have an effect on the world, so they wouldn’t have to change the faction leader and design new content for the change. Which, okay, I don’t buy that shit, but I’ll grant you, it DOES seem pretty unlikely that a game would put a new faction leader in and then just a couple years later get rid of him, much less invite the players to come oust him. I mean really. But either way, I really don’t get why everyone is getting so upset. Seriously, people, why would anybody be getting emotionally invested — for good or ill — in a made-up fictional character in a videogame?