| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (6)

Posted: Dec 17th 2007 3:17PM Ghen said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I log into online games for cheap entertainment. If I were rich I would probably spend less time online and more time in my personal bowling alley or on the ski resort a mile down the road from my personal bowling alley or in my private jet on the way to my personal beach on the opposite side of the planet from my personal bowling alley.

or in bed, with company. (on the 2nd floor of my personal bowling alley)

So escapism? no, I love the real world I just can't afford it.
refuge? no, its just cheaper to spend a night online with beers from the liquor store than it is to spend it in a bar with a gang of buddies even though its not as personal of contact. Basically I'm going to cry foul on this whole book. It cuts out the one point that makes the most sense. Cheap entertainment.

Posted: Dec 18th 2007 12:12AM animagnum said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Before you cry foul on the whole book without reading it, you might want to read it. Castronova's speculation is borne from real-world research he and other academics have done on the subject of MMO players -- and their reasons for playing. Personal, anecdotal evidence does not really provide much to counter what are merely speculations and observations.
Reply

Posted: Dec 17th 2007 3:38PM Scopique said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The examples make the most sense, IMO. After working all day with others, and then spending time with the family, sometimes I need to be able to do something that does deal with real-world concerns because if the drama online get's to be too much, I have an option online that I don't have in the real world: I can log off, and I don't have to deal with it.

Posted: Dec 17th 2007 4:22PM Ghen said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I guess I could amend my former statement. The truth is often just the most marketable idea. I'm pretty sure this guy wouldn't make any money on his book if he added entertainment, and the people who look to gaming just for the silly fun that it is wouldn't want to buy his book about why they play games anyway... So his truth that online gamers are either seeking refuge or escaping is just the most marketable truth and not the complete one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truthiness
Reply

Posted: Dec 17th 2007 8:13PM Darthus said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I really don't see the difference in Mr. Castronova's examples. The difference between Refuge and Escapism is purely a value judgement on his part.

1) The father who is playing 90 hours a week is escaping from a situation in which he is not happy, which he could be addessing, but it not for whatever reason; it's too painful, or he's just lazy. He plays a video game to do something that makes him happy, hang out with people who don't judge him or treat him in a way he's not happy being treated.

2) The heavyset girl who is being made fun of is escaping from in a situation in which she's not happy (that she's being made fun of for her body). She could be addressing this as well, either by losing weight, or by coming to accept herself for who she is. She goes online to avoid doing that however, and to be in an environment where she can hang out with people who don't judger her or treat her in a way she's not happy being treated.

The only difference between the two is that Mr. Castronova believes the father should stop escaping from the things that are making him unhappy and deal with them, while the girl doesn't have to. He thinks the father is doing the wrong thing by not addressing his issues, where for the girl it's ok.

I don't see the difference so clearly or think that it's so clear cut which form of avoiding a situation you're unhappy with is ok. Perhaps we should call both of their behavior "avoidance" and drop some of the moral language around the issue.

Thoughts?

Posted: Dec 18th 2007 2:15AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Well, I played MMO's for the same reason I play every game. Including online and offline gaming. It's fun. You have a good time, you get online with your buddies and just have fun. The problem is, games by nature, are usually addictive. So you just have to look after that or else it could turn into a serious problem, where gaming becomes the number one priority in your life.

Although, I do have to agree I know many people that play games to 'escape reality', (as in take a break for a bit).

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW