“But lately, Raph’s words have really started to scare me. I started to think ‘What is World of Warcraft teaching all these kids?’ I’ve played the game since the ‘Friends and Family’ alpha test two years ago, and I’ve read the forums ever since. I have a very good idea what the game is teaching, and it’s downright frightening. Unlike the uniformed parents who are afraid that GTA is going to ruin our youth, I’m not afraid of the silly facade of World of Warcraft: I’m afraid of what’s it’s really all about, deep down! That’s a much more powerful and influencing thing than the mere surface (Street Fighter isn’t about cartoon fighting, that’s just a surface, too).”
The entire rant resonates strongly with me. It also explains why I still love Street Fighter games, yet I can’t bring myself to buy a single MMORPG. On mud-dev there’s a large current that says forcing socialization is a good thing (to give those poor Bartle Socializer types a chance for fun), but I think the game mechanics used to implement such things don’t necessarily reinforce socialization. Instead, the reinforce the group > individual meme that is so very, very dangerous (1984 anyone?).
It probably also explains why I can repeatedly replay games from the late 80’s through the mid 90’s, yet rarely play through any of the recent games more than once (Kingdom Hearts is a notable exception).
Side note, Raph Koster is awesome. I always enjoy reading his posts on mud-dev. 🙂