So, two comments on the situation (to quote an Israeli columnist). First, I don’t think anyone goes to mainstream gaming sites for “hard news”. I mean, for 99.99% of the public, if they want hard news, they’re not going to be thinking of gaming. They’re looking for news on John Kerry’s lesbian daughter or George W. Bush’s swift boat service or something. Hard news on gaming? People play games to get the hell away from the hard news. Well, normal people do, anyway.
The second comment. Abnormal people play MMOs. And MMOs are, in their own special uniquely broken way, holistic. They are, if not self-contained worlds, a damn sight more of a world than Bloodrayne 2: The Dentata Monologues. They do have a need for, well, news. Much like every community does. Obviously, from my position as craven suit-clad sellout who cackles maniacally as the pure and the needy are broken on my Wheel of Pain (we’re issued those at the Christmas party), I don’t particularly believe that MMOs are vast conspiracies, save that they’re vast conspiracies designed to, you know, generate revenue.
But there’s a lot of “community stuff” that happens. And there’s a lot of industry gossip and backbiting and general bitchiness, much like any other enterprise where people gather. And, well, people involved want to read about it.
I think the “secret” to ltm.net that most people missed was that I thought the vast majority of this stuff was, well. Funny. I took it seriously, but not too seriously. It was a fine line. I mean, in the end, we’re talking about Dungeons and Dragons, people. It’s real hard to work up a serious lather of justified rage over armor class. And the better writers that have popped up lately (and here I’m thinking of Anyuzer and Cosmik) understand that. Sure, you have the REALLY ANGRY people who want to Stick It To The Man, and you have the intellectuals who want you to read their doctoral thesis on the logarithmic regression of Lineage II’s experience curve, but in the end, the people whos comments you’ll remember and think about are the ones who make their points, not with a bludgeon, but with a chuckle.
Or I could be wrong. But I bet Jon Stewart wouldn’t be too worked up about PVP systems. Just a thought…