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Reader Comments (48)

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 2:08PM SnarlingWolf said

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1) How is orientalism different from racism?

2) If you are poor enough to where you can not afford a subscription MMO, you probably should be working on your life instead of focusing your time into video games. This isn't meant as an insult to a poorer person (I'm extremely far from rich myself but I do make enough to support myself and pay for an MMO subscription), it is simply that gaming is 100% non essential so if the person isn't making enough to afford it they shouldn't be concerned with it.

I would love to have a mansion, a ferrari, a boat, a plane, a personal chef/maid etc. I do not make enough to afford those things so I don't have them, but at the same time I do not try and demand that it is only fair if those things are made free to use and that someone who has excess cash should spend more on them so that I can have them for free.

I've just never understood where gamers started thinking they were owed games for free. Either you can afford the entertainment or you can't, but you are not owed it.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 2:17PM Brianna Royce said

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@SnarlingWolf Off-topic probably, but a cool question, so why not: I think I'd say that racism certainly includes orientalism, but generally, colloquially speaking, racism tends to lean more on the negative, on the dehumanization of certain ethnicities, whereas orientalism is very often as much the romanticization or exoticization of certain eastern cultures. Both are separate and independent problems in gaming and elsewhere.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 2:38PM zorovriend said

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@SnarlingWolf Well the meaning of rich in this story is not the ultra rich having 10 homes 1000 cars and so on. It is just the middle class that work from 9 to 6. Those people have relatively more time to spare, and 15 a month isn't that much, only if you are on a tight budget.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 4:46PM Daelda said

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@SnarlingWolf - My wife and I are poor and we are gamers. We currently live on less than a lot of people pay in rent per month. I am permanently disabled (unable to work), and thus I get Disability. My wife, who also has a disability but *is* able to work, has returned to college in order to gain more marketable skills.

My disability is such that I have a very difficult time getting out of the house and dealing with people face-to-face. Online gaming provides me the ability to socialize where I otherwise can't. I have even been told by my doctor that she approves of my gaming and is glad that I am able to socialize, make friends and have fun online. She calls it a form of therapy for me.

My wife and I are working hard on our financial situation, but doing so takes time. Sure, you can say that gaming is not essential - but neither is a modern bed. People slept on the ground, or on floors, or on piles of straw for thousands of years before modern beds were invented. But you have to admit, it sure feels a lot nicer to sleep in a modern bed than it does to sleep on a pile of straw. And it sure feels a lot better to be able to go online and play a game with other people than it does to just watch TV, or read a book, or sit thinking about how my life was so much better before I became disabled.

Poor does not automatically equal lazy. Nor does it mean less deserving of entertainment and joy. If someone is poor and loves to game, MMOs are some of the cheapest forms of entertainment to be found.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 10:36PM JuliusSeizure said

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@Daelda

Your story is extremely close to my own, and I suspect there's a fair number of others who fit in roughly the same category as us.

I just want to emphasise your statement about what good value MMO gaming really is when there's not much else to spend what little leisure money you have on. This is especially true when factoring the social interaction that those like us would otherwise lack.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2011 1:25PM Dril said

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@SnarlingWolf

The problem is that you assume everyone's equal beyond, say, the first month of their life. Hell, we're not even born equal; natural intelligence, genetics etc all play a part in dispelling this myth that more soppy left-wingers like to perpetrate (NB: I am left-wing IRL, I just find the implementation of it in Britain atm ridiculous and half-baked.)

The whole point is that not everyone is given the same opportunities even excluding "from birth" inequality: their upbringing, their schooling, their outlook will all be different, and the fact is saying someone should go and get off their arse doesn't really help. Notwithstanding the fact that that could be simply impossible, Western society is, at the moment, inherently designed to favour the rich.

They're not owed entertainment, no, but they are owed an equal opportunity to be successful. How to do that, though, is something of an issue.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 7:03AM BGExorcist said

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@Tempes Magus
Exactly, but people will always pay - because if one player pays 30 dollars, and 5 players canot aford more than 5.. well the company wins from the one player and doesnt care for the other 5 :). Its up to the 30 dollar guy to say what da hell am i paying those greedy b******s for?
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 2:19PM BigAndShiny said

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I totally disagree with your olympic opinion. Many athletes are those that excelled at school in their sport and are given state funding, or that i what i understood. Wealth BUYS wealth for your children, life is like that.

TBH, F2P costs $30 a month to stay very competitive at the high end, P2P $15. If you HAVE money, it is more expensive. If you don't it's like listening to a busker for an hour and not dropping in a few coins, you are disrespecting the dev's work.

An MMO costs the price of 2 Burger King meals, so just get rid of the junk, and start playing! It costs money to pay for the bus ticket to Taco Bell!

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 2:21PM BigAndShiny said

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@BigAndShiny
* and the poor=crime stereotype is for the most part true, because crime is seen as a way out of poverty
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 2:41PM zorovriend said

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@BigAndShiny Depends, large crimes can be seen as a way out.
Most crimes comited by relatively poor people are just a matter of last resort, a social need because all there friend got shiny object x so in order to afford it they commit crime.

Its easy for us to discus about, I've never commited a crime(exept riding a bike on the sidewalks but that doesnt count)
I think its hard to understand why someone would commit a crime.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:04PM UnknownUser said

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@BigAndShiny

I agree with you for the most part, but it is situational. You're very unlikely to find a gymnast, or figure skater operating at the Olympic level of the sport who doesn't come from an affluent family much less skiers. Coaches (beyond the school gym level), choreographers, sparkly costumes and travel don't come cheap. It's not just financial barriers at play either. There are also geographic considerations. Not a lot of snow skiers coming from Louisiana.

Now, you take sports like basketball, baseball or track & field events and at least in the United States you're dead on. Since these sports are played in virtually every public school in the country, athletes from all walks of life have the potential to become Olympic athletes.

I still have a very hard time drawing a parallel to online gaming. Every activity in the world just isn't for everyone in the world regardless of whether they would enjoy it or not.

I absolutely love watching hockey and would have loved to have had the opportunity to play it growing up. Unfortunately, in the rural south ice rinks are few and far between. So, I played baseball and basketball. It has nothing at all to do with class-ism...merely opportunity. I find it very hard to feel sorry for someone because they can't afford to play a game...there's plenty of other things for them to do.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:07PM nycteris said

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@BigAndShiny

"and the poor=crime stereotype is for the most part true, because crime is seen as a way out of poverty "

Maybe. But if crime = griefing in this context, then I have to disagree. People don't grief because they're poor and looking for a way out. People grief because they're jerks.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 2:50PM zorovriend said

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Exept for Entropia Universe, i cant realy think of a game where wealth buys raw power.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:11PM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, I always have to sigh when I see gamers putting down others through stereotypes. If there's a way for a person to differentiate themselves from others, you can be sure that someone will use that to put down others to make themselves feel superior.

What's really funny with this horrid logic going on in their minds is when they denounce the player base of a game for whatever reason they can come up with. They act as if all the people they dislike magically play that game they dislike and only that game alone. MMO's aren't static communities but rather fluid. Just because they like a game a lot doesn't mean it's immune to people they dislike from joining too.

A good example is to point out a game going (or being) free-to-play, such as LotRO. I remember seeing people getting worried that it'd bring in the filth. I say the possibility for filth existed before then, though oftentimes I'd disagree on what is filth and what is not. The thing they're mistakingly pointing out is really just more players making the noise ratio more noticeable.

A common target for this idea is WoW. I've seen people say the community is inherently awful, the worst they've ever seen. Well yeah, that's because it's the largest. If any other game became top dog, you'd see the same exact complaints. Plus, it's hard to notice the good in a community when the bad apples are onerous enough to stick out in one's mind more so.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:23PM zorovriend said

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@(Unverified) well "the filth" are the people that grief and generaly behave bad, I believe that a game going f2p does increase "filth" numbers.

Mainly because younger people and children think its funny to behave like that, but they have a lot less money to spend in most cases so on the moment they get a sub they wouldt like to grief and mess around because they like the game.

While in a f2p game these people would misbehave because they think its fun.

( disclaimer: I dont think all young people are scum i'm still legaly a child myself but I do think that it is conected)
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:24PM (Unverified) said

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Okay, yeah I should have included this in my comment, but I don't think the opening "ism" part and the Olympics analogy should have been part of the article. They just served to muddy your argument. While it's fine to discuss those topics, I don't think bringing them up kept the point in focus as strongly. I remember reading the Drama Mamas series on WoW Insider and how commenters easily got off track from the point of an article.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:27PM (Unverified) said

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@zorovriend

Right, but I was trying to get across that many relate filth to casual players or PVP players, or whatever other association they bring up that really shouldn't be considered filth in the first place. I'm not saying there aren't actual detestable players out there.
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Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:14PM (Unverified) said

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Ive known one or two people that went into the Olympics, and they were not born wealthy, but rather had the natural talent and the desire to practice, plus they got noticed by the right people so they could go farther....

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 3:15PM Ohhlaawd said

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Requiring a computer is a bigger hurdle for the truly poor than a subscription fee.

Posted: Feb 8th 2011 5:02PM DancingCow said

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@Ohhlaawd

Well said.

This article was an absurdly flimsy attempt to cast those who prefer subscription models in the most negative light possible.

Every time I see an article like this or one that decries 'the end is nigh' for subscription models I seriously have to wonder if there's an industry lobby group desperate to crack open the MT cash-cow who pay writers to spew this rubbish.
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