Everyone wants to be loved, so why are we so drawn to abuse?

Playing an MMO is like having an abusive relationships. They kick you and they slap you, and they make you beg for every scrap of appreciation. Lets face it, if you are grinding for hours to get a mount, then you are not that far away from the girls who say “He is really a great guy when he doesn’t drink!” … yeah, sure he is.

Its not the kind of relationship I want, I have no time for fights, no matter how good the makeup sex is. I’m not going to insult someone even if that’s what will make them want me. I want to treat my players right, but what if they really want abuse? Everybody says they love Shenmue, Okami and Another world, pinnacle of “interactive story telling”, but then they go back to their desks to kill 15 scorpions or collect 30 bore pelts. Clearly something is rotten in Denmark.

The less you get out of games the more you want out of them. The more time wasted the higher the honor of its accomplishment. Gamers will put up with the most punishing games, just as long as the game every now and then stop by that store at the airport that only sells poor relationship band-aids, to pick up chocolate, alcohol or what ever else they can use to instill hope that the relationship is not a waist of time.

Ask yourself, would you rather play an hour of grind to level up, or and hour of great gameplay who’s progress you couldn’t save?

I think many gamers would rather take a beating if they think that they are accomplishing something, then have some pointless fun. That’s a real shame because, lets be clear, you don’t accomplish anything when you play games. There is nothing wrong with that, we don’t have to accomplish things all the time, it should be OK to just have fun every now and then. That’s why I’m not so sure I’m OK with is trying to fooling you in to thinking you did accomplish something when you played my game.

I’m not the beating kind, and i don’t waste time, yours or mine. By now you shoul have figured out that I’m a romantic but also that I speak my mind. But if love is not what you want, perhaps it is me I end up fooling? It begs the question: Is game design by its very nature to be a con artist of the seducing kind? Everyone know that the best con is the one where the one being conned enjoys being conned.