Gamers are everywhere, and when it comes to MMO games there's ways that they can have a great impact on many, many people from across the globe. Recent events led to the death of Sean Smith, aka "Vile Rat", when the US consulate in Libya was attacked. Vile Rat had such an impact on the game that his presents stirred numerous high profile articles by Something Awful, by CCP Games themselves, fan videos on YouTube, and even acknowledgement of his presence as a gamer by high level politicians.
Death is a human fact and every culture faces the loss of its members. As a result, it highlights how people game in these communities. Friends and competitors alike found the time to memorialize his activity in game.
As we all know by now NCSoft is closing City of Heroes and disbanding Paragon Studios.
This is actually something of a hugely emotional event for many of the fans of the game. People who have played it since launch and even survived the transition to free-to-play (only a year or so ago.) As a result of the announcement, Facebook pages have appeared, petitions have surfaced, even some celebrity authors have gotten behind trying to save it -- Mercedes Lackey and Neil Gaiman both have thrown in their support.
Let me know if you play City of Heroes and tell me what you think about the closure.
The MMO gaming industry functions very similarly to the rest of the video game industry, except that it thrives on the ability to attract and retain customers, as a result it has both the effects of a service and a product. As a result, there are some similar issues with journalism, selling out, and the specter of impropriety. Recently editor-in-chief of MMOHut was fired and taken up by a different MMO review site, MMOBomb, and his story brings to light some of the growing pains that the MMO industry might need to fight through as it forges its way into the gamer audience and limelight.
The winter holiday is fading away from most MMOs, but City of Heroes has an interesting legacy to live up to with their winter events. In 2005 (effectively for the 2004 winter event) the introduction of the Winter Lords generated an interesting effect in the player community--primarily this is because they were bugged and would unleash spectacular amounts of experience when killed.
The Winter Event for City of Heroes includes both a primarily Christmas-styled event combined with a New Years event. Wrapped gifts appear around Paragon City, the Rogue Isles, and now also Praetoria; and a ski chalet appears outside the intradimensional nightclub Pocket D. Players are asked to rescue the Baby New Year from Snaptooth (a Red Cap) for Father Time; but also recently introduced was Lady Winter--a female archviallian counterpart to the Winter Lord--who appears as of 2010.
The Winter Lords no longer deliver powerlevelling via their violent expulsion of experience, but their memory still lingers with veteran players who ice skated in Paragon City that fateful year.
A full essay is available behind the link explaining the event and some of the ramifications of the Winter Lord bug. Until next year.
Fiveshot is a rogue on the Darkspear shard of World of Warcraft, he's well known on YouTube for videos of his exploits. I had the chance to interview him about why he chose YouTube and why World of Warcraft. He has since also started to play on Star Wars: The Old Republic as well. ξ
There are numerous examples of how communities arise and generate culture within the rulesets of games and gaming. It's a collision of geek culture with popular culture that cultivates its own facets, heraldry, and even mythology. ξ
Amid all the strange places in the world, an ancient mythology refers to a hill by a crossroads in a dusty, forgotten part of the world caked by the heat of the sun and yet we refer back to it as if it were another Ragnarok.