Sunday, August 17, 2008

Act your shoe size

A thought occured to me a little bit after finishing my previous entry.

Maturity is a bad thing.

Sure everyone wants to play with people they can get along with and more often than not that means peers. There has always been trends in MMO guilds to require that applicants be over a certain age. I've seen them, you've seen them. Surely an older player base is a better player base. Less chance for immaturity or drama. Or at least that is the theory.

A comment made on Tobolds blog (link on the side) about FFXI got me thinking. The idea of Japanese only groups in the game. I've also listened to a friend who has played the game for a long time. In Final Fantasy, there are expectations of how you will act, how you ask for groups and behave within them.
Obviously that works for the game and the people there, but at the same time such ... expectations and required behaviour results in the type of people who will run into a brick wall for 18 hours.

Also take the current trend in City of Heroes. Previously "Mature Roleplayer" basically meant put on your robe and wizard hat. Of course now there's been a shift. That lot are either ERP or "All-RP" tagged players.
People have claimed the mature roleplayer tag back to indicate edgy or dark or generally grown up storylines. The difference between Adam West's Batman and the Dark Knight really.

All of these things require that people must act in a certain way and show particular traits or a supposed level of maturity.

Frankly I think such things are killing our games.

Don't get me wrong, I am not calling for everyone to start acting like five year olds. But when the atmosphere in which you are playing does not permit you to be just a little loony when the mood strikes, why are you there?

Inevitably everyone in an MMO, even in the most laidback of guilds/fleets/warbands/supergroups will have to deal with group drama. No amount of "18+ players only" or "Mature Guild" in the world will stop there from being people who don't get along.

If you find that such restricted groups or enforced manners work for you, then good for you. However, I would sooner be in a group who will run through the newbie zone in underpants than one demands I play a certain way or would have me spend hours on a fruitless task.

Disclaimer, I currently have a problem with a wisdom tooth and haven't really slept. I know I had a point, but Im not entirely sure I made it. Sorry folks!


Ysharros said...

Hee, Ardua on painkillers! :D

You made *a* point, and I agree with it. The thing is, I really never thought "mature" meant "going back to the goth roots I missed as a teen" and to me, being mature totally does not preclude nekkid Aerlinthe [or insert your fave dungeon] runs.

If anything, my personal expectation of "mature" is that folks have experienced enough to have a sense of humour about themselves and the world around them. An inability to laugh isn't mature, it's constipated. :P

Anonymous said...

ysharros got a really good point.
You can be silly and humorous without being immature, running in underpants is something I definitely believe my guild could be seen doing even tho' we've got a 18yrs req.

It's about having a wide enough mind to accept of eachother's opinions, descisions and being able to communicate in a civilized manner, or in other words - not being a whining little brat that can't take a now for an answer.

Anonymous said...


arbitrary said...

My last couple of guilds have had age limits (or boundaries really). I've found it actually made for a lot less drama, a lot more willingness to help guildmates and as ysharros says, an ability to laugh at the game and ourselves.

But I do think you also have a point. There's nothing wrong with just enjoying the game.

Another of the reasons I opted for a mature guild was that it gave me people to play with who have the same terms of reference as me. And the same life commitments. So when I make some comment about having to go to work, or my husband needing me to do something.. it's not some freakish thing - we all have jobs, or partners, or children. In our LotRO guild I've found that's the biggest impact of the age limit. It's given a bunch of people otherwise seen as casual a place to hang out where they won't be mocked for having to do day-to-day stuff that kids and students don't necessarily have to do.

Ardua said...

Ysharros made my point better than I!

Yeah, painkillers bad.

"An inability to laugh isn't mature, it's constipated."

So long as things never get FFXI-esque, I will be a happy person.

The idea that you could lose teams and make next to no progress in a game you pay for along with everyone else because of a tiny faux pas? That's maturity gone wrong. As Ysharros said, thats a backlog of poopy.

Fortunately WAR has a sense of humour, even if it is dark at times.

Oakstout said...

One of the misconceptions that I've come across is that people things its a 12yr old thats ganking you over and over unmercifully and laugh at you while doing it. But the fact is that the guy griefing you, while he might be immature, he most likely a 42 yr old computer programmer that likes to harass people on line.

While people believe the older you are the more mature you tend to be, I think this is crazy. I've played with 9 yr olds before that have a better understanding of team work and helpfulness than some 40 yr olds. And I've known some 20 somethings that take a game too serious than some twice that age, who only look at games as what they are, a game.

Maturity isn't in the age its in the person.

Anonymous said...

Good for people to know.