I feel so verklempt.
“Let’s go for a coffee” is part of our society. Typically you pick either a greasy spoon, or some fancy overpriced brand variety, and go, sit, drink coffee, and chit chat with a friend (or friends) for a few hours. It could be a date, or just a catch up session with an old pal. Most people do this, most people enjoy this, and the details are in the simplicity of the activity. Hot drinks, good people, and an open ended conversation. It is as American as apple pie, and as Canadian as hockey. It is probably also as French as smoking. More Coffee Talk after the break.
I have been dabbling in both WAR and WoW as of late and the obvious finally hit me – playing WoW is just like “going for a coffee”. My Shaman reroll hit 68 and I finally ventured into Northrend for the first time. The destination? Starbucks The Howling Fjord. My coffee levelling partner? Bonsnuit (Death Knight and good friend.). Enter quest hub, hit the christmas tree lights, follow questhelper. Talk, laugh, joke around. Get a level here and there without barely paying attention. The beauty of WoW is the simplicity. It doesn’t even feel like I am playing a game, I am just running around in a virtual coffee shop with a friend while killing things, collecting shinies, and getting XP – while we talk about real life.
That doesn’t make it bad (or good). It is something to pass the time while hanging out with a friend. That is probably where the brilliance lies in it all. The game is just a hot cup of coffee – the focal and “bring together” point between friends. The coffee isn’t the important part. I can’t go for a real coffee with Bons, she lives in Wyoming. I live in Canada. WoW is our virtual Starbucks.
WAR, on the other hand, is like going to a movie. It is fun, but there isn’t much room for talking. Faster paced, much clicking, zero downtime – the focus in WAR is on the game activities and not the people. This too, doesn’t make it bad (or good) just different. It feels less social to me to play. However, the game feels more engaging itself – because the game is the focus, not the tasty warm beverage.
EQ was a combination. Not much of a chance to chat it up or socialize while doing activities, but lots of downtime to shoot the breeze in between hectic battles. EQ was more like playing road hockey – fast pace, heavy game focus, but then a car came down the road and you had to push the nets to the side, and chat it up with friends.
WoW, for me, has lost the tag of “game” and is firmly entrenched in “social activity”. I have fun socializing there and the game is less important than the activity itself. Which is probably why people pick on WoW so much (myself included – you know, us hardcore gamer types). Now that I stopped worrying about WoW being some cutting edge game, and realize it is just a fancy Facebookesque MMO I can enjoy it for what it is, and worry about commentating on future games that hopefully take advantage of the PC and create an innovating MMO for the gamer in me – the socializer in me already has an outlet.
Anyone up for Coffee?