All long time wow players have heard the arguments playing WoW from the Anti-MMO community. We have all heard about the jobs lost, the relationships ruined, and all sorts of problems caused by playing MMO's.
Over the past week or so there is a new player in this debate. Enter Muckbeast. His blog is here if you want to take a look at it. His primary focus seems to be the gaming industry as a whole but he has written a couple of anti-mmo articles with titles like "Raiding Provides a False, Deceptive Sense of Real Accomplishment" and "Fed up! Raiding sucks as a sole form of end game content." He has tried to promote these articles by posting comments on quite a few blogs and edited the WoWwiki page on Raids (It has since been removed by the WoWWiki folks). Also, he has not posted a comment on my blog as far as I know.
Normally I don't pay a lot of attention to this sort of stuff but after seeing this guy pop up in several places on the internet I wanted to comment on it. My opinion on this topic is fairly simple. Is it the game's/activities fault or is it the participants fault?
First off, why are video games worse then other activities? What about the guy that goes out and plays rec football 4 or 5 nights a week and watches games on TV all weekend? Is he not ignoring his family also? What about the parent that dedicates all of their time to their professional lives ignoring their spouse and kids? Why is that more acceptable in society?
The fact of the matter is that they all share the same problem. Life is about balance, and if you push it off balance it's going to cause problems no matter what pushed it off balance. I am not an expert but it is likely that these people with obsessive behavior would focus their attention on another subject if their current interest wasn't available. So why is it raiding's fault?
On the flip side, Muckbeast ignores all of the positive things that can and have happened because of MMO's. I have heard multiple stories, both online and from people in game, about how WoW has brought their family closer together. I know parents that have gotten to spend more time with their kids because they are able to play the game together. I know of one girl who uses her WoW time spend some time with her brother who is serving in the military in Iraq right now. I know of many married couples that play the game together. Sure, all of these people could have found another way to attain all of these goals, but if they like WoW, why do they have to?
My basic point is you shouldn't blame the MMO or an activity for a person's problems. The MMO may highlight or exagerate a person's problem, but it doesn't create the problem. So if you want to fix the problem, go to the person, not the game.
Reactions from other Bloggers:
Lume the Madd - A public response: Stop telling people how to game.
World of Matticus - One Way to Piss Off a Blogger (Don’t Do It).