It's Monday. The Olympics are in full swing. The question is, does anyone care?
As a Canadian I believe I have a unique perspective on this event. That is assuming that being part of a 35 million person consciousness qualifies as unique. Granted, I don't have a large frame of reference with which to paint my theories. I do have a reasonably good grasp on the consciousness directly to our south, the United States.
I spent my Sunday in the emergency ward of a local hospital at the side of my Grandmother. Cries, moans, children chattering away, the scuffling of feet, creak of wheelchairs and rattle of stretchers reverberated through the concrete halls until the clock reached 10:30am Eastern time.
Then, eerily, it was quiet. A quiet that would make you uneasy if you didn't know what was beginning at 10:30, swept through the hospital, the waiting room and even the triage. It was a religious quiet. The kind kept reverently tucked away for churches, funeral homes and in this case an Olympic hockey game involving Canada. The game flickered onto the televisions set up across the hospital and for a moment everyone stopped, looked and was quiet. Smiles broke out across faces that were filled with gloom mere moments ago. Then it was back to business for the nurses, doctors and technicians, but all spoke in hushed tones, like they would in a church. Something special was going on here. Strangers were whispering about the game, the players and for a while, everything bad was forgotten.
The players on the ice weren't just players, they were us. They truly represented us, each every one of us, from the elderly man with the oxygen mask covering his face to the four-year-old boy wearing his, and this should be no surprise, Team Canada hockey jersey. Nobody cared what part of the country they came from, or whether their skin was white, yellow, green or red. For the next two hours that team was Canada.
Hockey in Canada is as close to a religion as a sport can get. Unless you are a Canadian I don't think I can express in words the feeling that a Team Canada hockey game brings with it. Businesses shut down to watch these games. Families and friends get together in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week. I don't believe that there is a comparison I can make with the United States. There is no sport that defines them as a nation like hockey defines Canada.
What made quiet in the hospital today especially interesting? It was the Canadian women who were playing. Ogosta and Wickenheiser were the heroes, not Sakic and Iginla. Is there another country in the world that stops in its tracks and sits down together for two hours to watch a team of women represent them? I'd wager that there isn't, but I believe that there should be.
Will MMOGs someday reach the point where their longevity spawns a religious, almost euphoric feeling in those who play it? Some of them already have.
Comments? Flames? Send them here!
Game Movie: Bring Me To Life
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day:
The Center for Disease Control felt the "Vin Flu" would cause too much panic and renamed it Bird Flu. [Thanks Troon]
16 new articles are now online. That's right folks....16. Our focus today is on Valentine's Day.
Read on! Let us entertain you!
Here's what's new on the network!
- Dungeons and Dragons: Romance and Dragons
"Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and in lieu of chocolates in a heart-shaped box, Ralsu gives us a look at love and romance in online gaming. How will those of us lookin' for love fare in Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO)? Put down that trashy romance novel and prepare yourself by reading our editorial."
- Dungeons and Dragons: Quest Journal #5 - The Missing Ward
"Aloyce, Ralsu, and Shayalyn battle undead in an attempt to rescue a missing woman from the clutches of a necromancer. Follow the party on a new adventure filled with monsters, magic, and intrigue. Our quest journals will provide clues to the adventures that await in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach when it launches on February 28."
- Guild Wars: Love Is In The Air
"Valentine's Day is almost here, but is it a time for romance or a time for commercialization?"
- Lord of the Rings Online: Love, Middle-Earth Style
"Okay, so Tolkien lore isn't exactly rife with romance, but Aragorn loved Arwen and Samwise loved Rosie and hey, perhaps love will be in the air some day in Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (LOTRO). Shayalyn takes a look at love in online games, and the heightened potential for relationships in LOTRO. She also shares a bit of her personal history when it comes to romance and online games. (Oh, the scandal!)"
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Candy Hearts and Pretty Flowers
"Candy hearts and pretty flowers are the common thoughts this time of year. Aunraye joins the other writer's across the network as we look at love in MMOs. She reminds us that not all love is romantic. What does she mean? Check it out!"
- EverQuest 2: Is Love In The Virtual Air?
"Valentine's Day! The day dedicated to showing our loved ones, how much we care for them. And while we buy cards and candy for that special someone, don't forget to throw a little love at the friends that bring life to our virtual worlds. Savanja shares her take on the most important love in-game."
- Where's the Love? Relationships in MMORPGs.
"Looking for love in your favorite MMOG? No, I'm not talking about Valentine's Day-themed quests or creepy cyber encounters. I mean the cutesy-wootsy, "long walks along the pixellated beach" relationship kind of love. Ethec has a few words of advice for those lonely hearts aching for that special someone with just the right... faction alignments."
- Auto Assault: Love In The Wastelands
"This week's common content feature is all about love. How does Valentine's Day affect Auto Assault? Well luckily for us, NetDevil has the Valentine's Day Massacre. This event is an extended beta period for everyone with a pre-order. This opens up the possibility of convincing that special someone that Auto Assault is the perfect hobby to share. That is of course, you don't approach them about it the wrong way!"
- Auto Assault: Agent and Constructor Skill Listing
"Want to know what makes Agents stealthy and Constructors healthy? Well then check out our new skill lists for both the Agent and Constructor classes. Agents are the Biomek's "rogue" class.
Attacking from stealth and clearing all of the enemies in their path, they are a force to reckon with. The Constructor class is the "healing" class. Don't let that fool you though! They pack quite the punch."
- World of Warcraft: Guide to Onyxia - Horde Attunement
"Today brings the first section of our Onyxia guide here at TenTonHammer. This first section is all about how to become attuned to the Onyxia instance so that you can enter. This portion is for Horde players. The Alliance guide will follow later this week, so check back soon!"
- World of Warcraft: Shields Make Good Surfboards
"Shields Make Good Surfboards: An End Game Warrior Discussion"
- Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - Defensive Fighters
"Martuk starts his four part series that will look at the standard roles of the classes in MMOs. This week he looks at the Defensive Fighter. Not only does he look at the traditional, but talks about what may be needed in Vanguard: Saga of Heroes once it launches some time this year."
- World of Warcraft: Battlegate
"Ten Ton Hammer recently started a guild on the new Sen'jin server. I've been
playing World of Warcraft on and off for the year that it's been live. In all of
that time I've never entered a BG or willingly PVP'd. That all changed this
weekend when the new crew convinced me that it was fun. They were right! It
was an exhilarating experience of non stop action. At first I spent a lot of time running around in circles in a panic and then after the second time I found myself in the groove."
- Everquest 2: Crafting With the Carpenters
"If you just imagined a guy dancing in baggy pants and yelled "Stop!" then you went to a dark, dark place like I did. This time we are talking about a real hammer...well ok a virtual hammer. Just get that song out of my head! TenTonHammer sat down with master Carpenter Adeste and discusses how this class is percieved and what could be improved."
- EverQuest 2: Guide to Mystics
"With wards to protect from damage, and heals to rejuvenate health, this class is a powerful type of priest. Slide takes the mystery out of the new Mystic spells with an updated list and spell progression table."
- Auto Assault: Top 10 Reasons To Pre-order Auto Assault
"With Devrek in the loony bin, what will we do? Have me sub in for him! I'm nowhere near as funny as Devrek, since that is his job and all to be funny, but I'll do in a pinch! This week we bring you a humerous look at the top 10 reasons you should pre-order Auto Assault.
Of course this is just a humorous look at it. Why would you need 10 reasons to go pre-order Auto Assault?"
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Guide to First Level Arcana
"Darkgolem gives you what you want: a complete list of Level 1 spells from Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach! Even better, he tells what each spells does and how useful it is to a budding wizard or sorcerer. Let the expertise of DDO TenTonHammer.com’s resident power-gamer guide you in the creation of your first DDO character when the game launches on February 28th."
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: Skills List
"Got skills? If you’re wondering what skills are available in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO), wonder no more. Ralsu has compiled a list of current skills and their purposes so you'll be prepared when the time comes to create your DDO character."
- World of Warcraft: U.I Mod Review - Scrolling Text
"This is a relatively simple appearing mod, however appearances can be deceiving.
On the surface this mod does not appear to do a whole lot, however once you have played with it for a little while it's hard to part with."
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up. [Thanks Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle for the items today.]
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin