I was fortunate enough to have one of the best comedians on the planet doing a show a mere 30 minutes from my home on the weekend. Those of you of the Canadian persuasion will recognize the name Brent Butt. It's a funny name even for a comedian. For instance, how do you address him? Mr. Butt?
Mr. Butt, or Brent as he is known in Canadian circles is the star of a comedy show called Corner Gas. In true Canadian fashion his television comedy gets a bigger rating (2.2 million viewers) than CSI. Go figure, we're a funny lot, in any number of ways.
As my wife and I waited to enter the venue where the show was to take place I looked ahead in line and noticed something strange. A man was wearing a jacket with a huge, in your face, screaming out loud Viagra advertisement on it. This wasn't just a little patch on the should with the word Viagra. No sir, this was a gigantic blue pill that covered the entire back of the otherwise black jacket. As the line crept closer to walking billboard for erectile dysfunction I noticed a URL embroidered across the top of the coat. (www.roushracing.com) If you visit that link you will be stunned and amazed to find out that it leads to a NASCAR racing website. Just to be clear, a "good old boy" NASCAR driver, macho and full of testosterone is sponsored by a medication for erectile dysfunction. You can see how this show started out on the right foot before the comedians even strode on to the stage. I'm still wondering if the Roush Racing driver can 'get it up' to speed and 'really lay it down'.
Neither of the comedians told any jokes about MMOGs, which came as a surprise to no one in the audience but me. Brent did comment on Bill Gates and his enormous fortune built on the computer industry. Apparently a magazine had written an article stating that the money had affected Gates mentally.
"No kidding," exclaimed Butt. "If I had that kind of money I'd ride a giraffe down main street wearing a vikings helmet and swinging a bag of gophers," he exclaimed.
I'm almost to the part that is relevant to this column, so just hold on one more sentence. He then went on to comment on the process of writing comedy. "You write what you know" he said.
Game designers and journalists also fall into this trap. You write what you know. How much innovation have you seen in the MMOG market since EverQuest appeared on the scene? How many MMOGs have even attempted to step outside the fantasy or sci-fi genre? How many game sites set themselves apart from the crowd by doing something new?
Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle has posted a great article on this very topic. If I were you, I'd check out MMORPG Design: Art or Science?
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Vin Diesel is the goalie for his darts team.
Are games art or science? What does LFG mean? Should games be rated?
Read on! You might learn something.
Here's what's new on the network!
- MMORPG Design: Art or Science?
"Ever since Konami videogame designer Hideo Kojima's comment that "a videogame is not art", a debate has quietly roiled among developers and thinking gamers in forum boards across the internet. Most recently Raph Koster, SOE game designer, took Kojima's comment to task in a superb article that (somehow) wove itself into a critique of game reviewers like us! Nonetheless, Ethec has never been one to miss a party, so check out his industry outsider perspective as to whether MMORPG game design is an art or a science."
- DDO Terminology: From A to Z
"You can walk the walk...but can you talk the talk? When it comes to games, Dungeons & Dragons is arguably one of the more jargon-loaded. It's time to demystify some of those terms; at least the ones that apply to Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO)."
- DDO: A MMOG By Any Other Rating
"Will an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating of Mature help keep kids out of Lord of the Rings Online and other MMOGs? And, perhaps more to the point, should it?"
- Guild Wars: Oni-Style Monking
"This monk build--designed for Tombs or GvG play--was designed by Oni, who is currently a member of the Angry Businessmens. Tried and true, with a little skill, this build can take you to Hall of Heroes or help your guild climb a few notches up the ladder."
- EverQuest 2: Guide to Permafrost
"Deep in the frozen plains of Everfrost lies something more terrible than frostbite, polar bears, and where they are keeping Walt Disney's head stored (yes I know it's a rumor). The dungeon of Permafrost is a high level dungeon, home to the mighty dragon Vox, and a truckload of angry Ice Giants. Savanja explores this zone, and walks away to tell the tale."
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin