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RPGs Have Become the 5-9

By MaximumTacolord - 07-17-06

After a week’s worth of 8 hour days, you finally have something to show for it. A TPS report no one will read. Luckily, this means you won’t have to read it again yourself. But at least the cover looks important and it has your name. So when the next report is piled on top of it, the mail clerk who sees it for the last time will know you’re somebody. Now it’s time to end the 9-5 and begin the 5-9. By starting your 5th day of grinding World of Warcraft, soon you’ll have something to show for it. A Field Marshal’s Dragonhide set. Then, when you’re grinding for something else, everyone will see your armor and think, “You’re somebody.”

We are no longer human, but clocks. Ticking away at a task that has no meaning during the next revolution. And the clock rings 12 times for our next last and truly Final Fantasy. Once again, we’ll wander in circles for random battles. Why would Goblin C even attack you again? You’ve killed Goblin C 500 times now. You don’t even care, do you? As long as that experience bar keeps climbing, you’ll kill anything. Women and children just respawn, right? If a quest offers a war crime, bring it on. No one will remember this when we hit the next level, so who cares?

Of course, there is always the alternative. You can continue baking cookies until your skill points are high enough to bake brownies. It could take a few hours, but damn, with those brownies you’ll be able to work towards something else, maybe sandwiches!

Is this how we used to live? Did the skills I developed come about like that? Did I mindlessly fight in martial arts? Doing whatever a teacher told me so I’d level? Was every poem I wrote just a tool to write a more complex poem? More important, are we happy this way? I liked writing those poems and I still enjoy those I wrote. I enjoyed my time in martial arts. And I still use what I learn. So how do we out level so much in our video games and ignore so much we’ve mastered after all that work?

What is our role in the RPG? Rabbit Teeth. A mechanical grinding, so we can’t grow anymore. Our sole objective is to grind faster and as many times as possible. Until no movement is wasted and no downtime is acquired. Aren’t these the worst parts of the game? The parts of the game we never want to return to? These are the parts of the game we hardly even remember! Why has our game become a horrible journey towards a goal? Shouldn’t the journey be just as important? Just as fun?

Even now, are Moogles and Sephiroth played at conventions so much because of that tireless leveling? Is it because we recreated those two individuals until we don’t even see a character but something we want to get past? No, it’s the diversity, the difference in that character that appeals to us. What’s behind the character matters. Not the product being built as efficiently as possible. Or the grind that was behind the games they were in. Examine it from another light, is Spider-man popular because he’s just another Superman knock off? Or
is it because he’s something else? Also, what happens to our love of Superman if we see too many knock offs? It gets degraded and cheapened.

Gamers, you are not rabbit teeth. We must demand our games back! The creativity and originality are gone. All that remains are the fans of big name developers demanding we worship them. Simply because it repeats it’s message, “Sacrifice your time.” All the while, we thought we’d sacrifice something else if we’d stop playing. But that’s the deception. Making us think letting go means the loss of our character. But it’s the character of humanity we’re truly killing off.

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