Current Issue: Vol. 7-1 (03/09/2009)



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DRAVEN: HOSTILE ARSENAL`Crusade GUARDIANS PierceTheVeins Fenris Mastermind Vengeance LEGION ELITE Imperial SUPERIOR Descendants REVENGE AllStars CONQUEROR CONQUEST Renegades Celestial Beings Enrage ... [go]

Ashraf Ahmed : real-world context can be inserted into a virtual world, effectively turning the virtual world into a forum for real-world contexts. ... [go]

Roflmaodoodoodadoodoo: I didn't get it from the generator, but I saw it in Arathi Basin and thought it was the best ... [go]

Keesha: In awe of that aneswr! Really cool! ... [go]

Bobbo: This does look promising. I'll keep cmoing back for more. ... [go]



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The Demographics of Quitting

When asked whether they would quit their current game when a new game came out, female players indicated they were less likely to switch to a new game completely.

It was also found that older players were less likely to quit their current game for a new game.

The demographics and social changes that a game goes through over its life-cycle would be interesting to explore further.

Posted on September 3, 2003 | Comments (27) | TrackBack (0)


I am 29 years of age. I quit everquest after being a power player for 3 years because I believe that EQ is sociologically detrimental. I think long term studies will prove that Sony should be held accountable for the sheer amount of real lives ruined by this game. It's not a game when people drain their entire lives to log into a virtual world. I believe Sony should have done more long-term research on the psychological effects of their product. I am confident that in time, a class action lawsuit can and will be waged against this company and others like it.

Posted by: Elizabeth on September 6, 2003 9:18 AM

I want to reply to Elizabeth's remark. One thing I can't stand about American society is that when people have an addiction or problem it is never "their fault". It is a cultural urge to sue a major corporation or blame society for personal failings. (Think McDonald's coffee in your lap)
If you chose to be a power player that is your problem. If you couldn't stand seeing your friends outlevel you, or get the best gear, then you have been taught a lesson in vanity. I have been a regular but moderate player for 3 and half years and my first character is finally level 51, I have decent gear but nothing uber, and I've never killed a dragon or a god. Power players can laugh but my social life is fine, and I believe this is how the game was meant to be played.
Another thing, if MMOGs are going to be compared to the addiction of drugs, then moderation and responsible use applies to that also. Freedom. Down with the Drug war.

Posted by: Michael on September 6, 2003 10:02 AM

I also need to make a comment about Elizabeth's comment.

How is this Sony's fault? Did they put a gun to your head and say "You will go buy Everquest and you will play it hours on end until you forsake your real life friends." No they didn't, you under your own power went to the store, bought Everquest and then went home and forsake all your real life friends. This was all your doing, not theirs. If there is anyone you should file a class action lawsuit's yourself.

"Fan and player of the immortal game Everquest."

Posted by: Turox on September 6, 2003 11:00 AM

Personal responsiblity, whatever happened to it?

You have to push more buttons to get into Everquest than you do to drive a car, Please folks. THINK about life, if it is taking over your life, LOG off, get a hobby, go out, meet real people and GET REAL for a while.

Life is about ballance, some reality, some fantasy, and the ability to KNOW the difference.

Posted by: brenda on September 6, 2003 11:04 PM

Question for Nick. Your second chart is labelled "Will you quit (by gender)". However, I didn't see any gender specific data in the chart beyond the N figures. Was it mislabelled, or am I misunderstanding the chart?

Posted by: George on September 7, 2003 1:02 AM

Have to agree with Elizabeth. I know this puts me into the stereotypical "whiner" category and don't take responsibility, but I do believe eq is more significant and empowering more than people think.

Posted by: Mark on September 7, 2003 10:48 AM

I played the end of beta for EQ and I still play now, for the first year and a half I was a power player, then I recognized that there was an issue and stoped, now I play causaly, I would have to say that even though sony seems to have made this game in a way that would require you to be a power player to get what items you want. I would also say that you have to pick to be that power player. Yes the temptation is there but it is your personal choice to take it. I don't have all the items I want, but that is what keeps me intrested and playing still and I think that is why the game is made this way, if every one could reach their goal in 3 months no one would play, there always needs to be that next goal. I now balance my life and EQ very well and would say that if you want to sue sony for your personal down fall go ahead, I for one have addmitted that I had a problem, and I fixed it, but like I said its still MY problem and I made it that way for my self.

Posted by: Aaron on September 7, 2003 11:57 AM

George - I have corrected the mislabeled graph. Thanks for pointing this out.

Posted by: Nick Yee on September 7, 2003 1:05 PM

Michael, your invoking of the McDonald's 'coffee in the lap' case does nothing to strengthen your argument. In that case, the complainant suffered third-degree burns over six percent of her body after the coffee, which was admittedly resting between her legs, spilled onto them.

Basically, under the law there is a difference between 'really hot coffee - be careful' and 'horrifically hot coffee - potentially lethal'. A casual warning for the first does not cover the second. It was further shown that the McDonald's region in question had been warned repeatedly by health inspectors to serve the coffee at a lower temperature, since it was a danger to every consumer at that temperature. Internal documents showed the company chose to ignore these warnings because to do so would have driven their coffee costs up - in other words, they consciously chose to endanger their customers, assuming the costs of any litigation would be more than offset by the savings in coffee.

That's why there were punitive damages in the case. When corporations resort to this sort of bottom-line decision making (endangering their customers in the name of profit), then it seems appropriate for the courts to levy stiff fines, assuring that in the future such liabilities are a factor in the decision-making process. In other words, if all you think about is money, then we'll stick you with a huge bill so you'll think about it the right way.

Capice? The McDonald's case was textbook corporate greedhead stuff, and it's been turned into something else by the likes of Rush Limbaugh. Of course, he's got no agenda of his own. He's just here to inform.

So. If it could be demonstrated that Sony _knew_ that Everquest was emotionally addictive to a certain percentage of the population, and that they _knowingly_ designed the game to entrap those personality types, there would be a sort of parallel to the McDonald's case.

Having said all that, I do basically agree that the responsibility for blowing your life over a game lies with the individual.

Posted by: Sean on September 8, 2003 4:59 AM

Give me a break. I am willing to bet that you couldn't find a single product on virtually any market that is not detrimental to some group of people or other. Alcohol is detrimental to alcoholics, MMORPG's are detrimental to addictive personality types who desperately need to escape reality, cars are detrimental to people who experience road rage, peanuts are detrimental to people who are alergic to peanuts... Bottom line, if your product is consumable by the average populace with no ill effects, except for a tiny group of people who can't control themselves, it is not your fault. The fact of the matter is that MMORPG's (in general) are utterly harmless to 99% of the population. Because 1% of the population abuses a product does not mean that the producer should be liable and sued out of existance.

Posted by: Josh on September 8, 2003 9:26 PM

I suppose I would qualify as an Ultima Online "addict". I play 25 or so hours per week, sometimes more, and have done for the past 3 1/2 years. This is one of my main forms of entertainment. This is where my friends and I come to spend time together. I do have other "offline" hobbies, but this is where I choose to spend the majority of my time. The keyword is CHOOSE. Hardly something I can blame UO for. Socially detrimental? That depends on the individual, and that behavior would show up in other parts of that person's life also, not just in playing an online game. It's not the bottle of beer that creates the alcoholic, that tendency existed long before that beer was drunk.

Posted by: Naomi on September 10, 2003 1:05 AM

I also believe in "personal responsibility". Some poeple just need to get some personal empowerment and learn to take control in their own lives. And it can be done. I have ADHD and still can live a very productive life without medications or such, (not saying that all poeple with mental problems should stop being on meds or therapy), it just takes more work on my end to control my behavior and actions. But it can be done. Self-Control.

I played EQ for 3 years, finally made 52. I have a social life as well. I just learn to balance work and play into my life. And I do agree that there are poeple out there who play more than 30+ hours a week, who are addicted to the game, but only they themselves can break that addiction.

Posted by: Joseph on September 10, 2003 12:53 PM

I guess 99% of us agree that game addictions are at the responsiblity of the player ... can we get a chart on that? Hehe ...

That said, one correction in the coffee ordeal, ok, maybe two. The old lady did not put the coffee between her legs - she set it on the dash-board in front of her right before the car accelerated (and whamo - spilled coffee). Secondly, your take on people who are, media types of any genre is very true - they have an agenda - ratings for advertising dollars (this includes CNN, NBC, FOX, Rush Limbaugh, Playboy Channel). However, with McDonalds, the issue of temperature wasn't what was chastized on the radio. It was the putting it on the dashboard that was marked as dumb (and yes, we ALL do dumb things from time to time).

Sooo ... back on topic. MMOGs are intentionally designed to be addictive - hence, the monthly fee. The entire 100% goal is to get you hooked in for years. Same thing is true for the NFL - they try to get you hooked young so you'll be a fan your entire life and raise little kids who are fans as well. Same thing is true with Starbucks who want you to keep coming back, and with clothing stores, grocery stores, video rental stores ... we all get the idea. My one contention is this - name one thing in your life that you do consistently that is not an addiction. And those of you who try "work" on me ... just look up what is being defined as criterea here for an addiction:
1. You do it a lot
2. It can interfere with relationships
3. You can't just quit
4. You feel aggrivated when you can't do it
5. You feel guilty when you do it

ok, ok ... so I don't feel guilty about working but I'd be agrivated if I was broke!

Posted by: Natasha on September 11, 2003 10:49 AM

Ok, so I re-read ... you didn't say she had the coffee between her legs, just that she was burned. I'm officially announcing that there is no edit on this page and that I wrote without re-reading the earlier post! It's not my fault ... where's that dang edit button ... I'M GONNA SUE!!!

Posted by: Natasha on September 11, 2003 10:51 AM

I find this thread of comments very intreseting, the debate of degree of resposibility / liability for those "real lives ruined".

As a person who considers himself predisposed to addictive behaviour it seems to me the mindset of the authors of a number of the comments seem to portray themselves as in need of protection (in a role of child-like behavior (not childish)) If you make a game/candy/drug/etc for sale to the public for their enjoyment, and your profit, you are responsible to limit their consumption.

Of course the developers and publishers are doing their best to provide a physcological hook that will keep people coming back, be it status within the virtual enviroment, sense of achievement, discovery, etc. That is how they make money.

Following the rather questionable logic of Elizabeth, people like me; balance / playablity / interface tester that have done worked on projects for Turbine, Ensemble, Activision, Sony, MS Games, Mythic... assisted in thinking up tweaks to those hooks, share resposibility.

I played AC to the point it was detrimental to real life, I took a break of about a year from all multiplayer games, and am now staring to play again.

Should I sue myself? If so should I go for: money, or an addition at the end of my life for the time I spent when I stoped PLAYING, and started compliling with the needs of an obsesive / compulsive behavior?

Posted by: Steve on September 20, 2003 7:35 AM

Surly complaing that a game in which you spend all of your available sociolising time cannot be blamed for your lack of freinds nights out at the pub etc. What about all of those people you get along with in game are they not your new social group are they not the people you tend to spend time chatting with. Ok maybe you do not have loud music and drunken slobs intruding on your converstation, but I guess that from my point of view is a good think.

Some may say that meeting and interacting with people in game is not being social, I however would disagree with this.
In my MMOG time the best spent time has been when part of a smallish group within a larger where I have made some lifelong freinds whom I would never had had the chance to meet other wise ( other contries etc.), these freinds and i chatted about allsorts of stuff including the games (we played several different games together), a bit like heading down the pub chatting about the wether, work and football.

I guess what i am trying to say here is if taken into account then despite the slowness of comminication in games compared to face to face there is a very setrious argument to say that MMOG's are not solely responsible for destrying your life, in fact they can enhance it tremendously.

Perhaps there is another question here about personality and regard for others and the distance to respnsibilty that using computers to interact brings.
For instance PORN, surly when some one looks at an image on the computer or nowadays some streaming footage they are able to dissasocite that image from a real person, if they are in a relationship then when faced with a situation in which that image would be a real person they would have a very strong feeling of guilt and most likley not get further involved.
This may be the same with some people who feel that the game is ruining their life if they treat the other players as dissacociated objects then they will get no feelings of being part of a social group etc.

How to deal with this dissasociation its affects and how to combat it, is I belive another study in its own right.

Posted by: Jamie on September 22, 2003 4:17 AM

I think the new(er) 12-step programs that have recently popped up to combat MMO addiction are pretty telling in terms of why people such as Elizabeth believe they could file a "class action" lawsuit should be filed against companies like Sony. If you believe what 12 step programs (lets look at AA) tell you - you are "powerless" over alcohol. So you might be able to see where the *idea* would germinate in people's heads that its the GAME and not *themselves* that is the problem.

At the same time most 12 step programs also recognize that the person is mostly responsible for his/her own problems that BEGAN the abuse of the product/drug/thingie (gambling) in the first place. Therefore, if one has had an addiction to a video game, then one must look beyond that video game to find the real source of the problem. Blaming the video game won't help. I could see if EverQuest happened to "accidently" tear off peoples eyeballs - there you have a suit. But...not if the real root of the problem lies within the user. That's why so many "fat suits" are getting thrown out of court.

Posted by: Corrie on September 29, 2003 7:23 PM

I guess the porn industry (I'm not just talking about hard-core) that saturates nearly every medium that we see including spamming unsolicited emails to teenagers are completely innocent and not related to the growth and increasing destruction of sexual immorality and addiction.

You are a complete fool if you think MMORPG's and the Industries marketing tactics are any less destructive. It was pretty funny to read the second post. I guess your just a "social MMORPG". ROFL.

Stop playing today. All games. I bet money you couldn't.

Posted by: patrick on October 17, 2003 8:22 AM

I do agree that MMORPGs are made with an intent to addict. It's how they make their cash every month as stated. How I differ is that I agree with this. I am addicted to everquest, I'm glad I'm addicted and don't plan to stop. I despise reality completely and any alternative to living in the real world that I am given, I gladly take. I easily spend 60+ hours per week playing and I'm fine with that. The point is to illustrate that some people don't see it as an addiction but as an alternate way of life. So another question I pose other than the "who's liable" argument is why not? Even if it is made to be addictive, it is my choice to play and I wouldn't want EQ to be any other way, let alone sue someone for my loss of a "normal" life. I say good riddance.

Posted by: Bill on October 20, 2003 3:23 PM

"MMORPGS are made with an intent to addict". I agree with this statement. I would also like to say that as a 3 year everquest player, that players of these games need to limit their time. Plan ahead what raids you will attend, but still have fun with it - maybe have a longer session one day (5 or 6 hours) to accomodate for a large raid, but compensate playing time on other days. The "Physchological lure" for me to play everquest was simply the whole concept of the game - got to play with other real people from around the world in a fantasy world to complete different goals, possibly tradeskill a bit, and such. I find roleplaying to be a fun hobby, but just that, a HOBBY! Real life comes first, and the guild i joined in EQ supported that motto thoroughly - if i had to leave something, not a one would laugh or wonder why i had to go. It was simply understood, real life came first. To conclude, i think that MMORPGs can be very rewarding socially and emotionally if you limit the time you play, realize that real life comes first, and treat them as any other hobby, while still having enough time in some sessions to become engrossed in the game. Yes, any other hobby - they are as much a hobby as carpentry, model airplanes,
card collecting, you name it

Posted by: josh on October 28, 2003 2:37 PM

Reading through this post I am struck by many major issues:

Un-willingness to accept responsibility for our actions. This point has been illustrated by previous comments and needs no further discussion.

Every one seems to have the problem that Everquest prevents people from having a Normal life. My question to you becomes define normal? Is normal a life simmilar to a given percentage of the population in a selected area? Is it having 1.3 children and an SUV. Before you go claiming that something is ruining someone's life how do you know what is ruin and what is solid in another's life.

I have played Everquest for 3 years, my wife playes everquest with me now, and for us it is our major social activity. I do no miss going to the bar infact I never enjoyed doing so, and am happy to not do that. We still unplug and have social time, but we are probably on most nights, to talk to our friends, to play, to enjoy the game.

For me I have been in a situation that required me to move many times in a short period, as such I lost all my normal friends, but those that remained were the ones online, and so those relationships grew and others faded.

Quit trying to be normal, just always be aware that what you do is what you are. If you are an obsessive power gamer, you are an obsessive power gamer becuase you accepted the conditioning and rewards to become that way. If your not, quit trying to tell everyone else how to live.

There is no normal, get over it.

Posted by: John on November 4, 2003 1:58 AM ACTUALLY seems like the majority of this thread is people slamming those who agree there is an addiction here.

Its been proven that there IS such thing as an online addiction. Proven, verified, studied, and published in the AMA alia.

Am I relieving everyone from personal responsibility 100%? No. That would be ludicrous. HOWEVER, to put online addiction squarely on the shoulders of those who suffer from it is ludicrous as well. You might just as soon tell people that "You just shouldnt drink alcohol. Just stop. Its your own fault."

To take this point further, the world has NEVER seen such an absorption of technology as it is seeing in society today. No one knows what effects it has on behavior, social interaction, and the family unit itself. And things are just going to get more unclear as machinery is worked into our bodies (as with RF devices and eventually nano-tech) and the speed of/need for information expands.

Yes, people should know that a game such as EQ is based on Pavolvian conditioning, but the inherent attraction to technology that humans seem to have cant merely be dismissed.

I hope people who need help get it. Both from other people and by looking inside themselves. I also hope that like alcoholics before them, online addicts arent told to just "get over it."

Thats absurd.

Posted by: Vanquish on December 28, 2003 9:02 AM

Regarding the comment about the McDonald's coffee lawsuit:

The coffee that the woman spilled on her lap was so hot that it melted her polyester pantsuit and caused third-degree burns on her leg.

Posted by: Withheld on December 28, 2003 11:21 AM

To the guy way up there that said "I believe this is the way everquest was meant to be played":

If Everquest was meant to be played casually, and does not encourage powergaming, please explain PoP. This is just one expansion with an 80% content containment that will never be seen by the casual player. While I disagree that SOE would be responsible for any addictions to their product; I must adamantly state that I feel SOE and their entire design team are a bunch of moronic geeks bent over their 'get rich quick' scheme. Let us pray World of Warcraft annihilates EQ, in both fun factor and marketing.

Posted by: EQ Powergamer on December 28, 2003 10:14 PM

You guys can debate over the facts in that McDonald's coffee lawsuit all you want. The only person who knows the complete truth is the stupid wench that gets her coffee at McDonalds in the first place. Im surprised that shit didnt melt through her cup and eat a 1ft diameter hole in the floor. The water must have been boiling! Either that or she spiked it with some very strong acid.

Posted by: Lyta on December 28, 2003 10:19 PM

Quite late to be posting to this i admit though i needed to add something to this whole discussion..
I personally beleive that certain games Designs have negative long term effects on people.. People are manipulated and brain washed by media all of the time .. not everyone is equiped to deal with its effects .. i do beleive Everquest is guilty of this. is it something that can or should be Brought to a court of law? i dont know.. but if it is then the Entertainment companies are in loads of trouble.. because then i could sue for just about every advertisement or Film /tv show that has influenced me at some point.

its about influence, media influences people whether they know it or has influenced and effected the lives of every last one of us.
if those influences are negative can and should we hold them accountable? i beleive so but its a fine line to walk.. i belive that if people dont take some repsonsibility in making media in general be held accountable and put out responsible products the cultural effects will be devastating.. this could be as simple as boycotting ... the problem here is that everyone acts in an individual level .. but they fail to realize they are being targeted as a mass.. and herded in the same way. National culture on the masive leel is no longer in the hands of people, its being directed by media. and thats Scary

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