And this he's worried about?
Dec 09, 2008 16:28:25

"I don't mind having torture in an MMO - it's the kind of thing a designer can use to give interesting choices that say things to the players. However, I do mind its being placed there casually as a run-of-the-mill quest with no regard for the fact that it would ring alarm bells: this means either that the designer can't see anything wrong with it, or that they're actually in favor of it and are forcing it on the player base to make a point. Neither case is satisfactory." - Richard Bartel

What Richard Bartel is referring to in the quote above is a quest in the new "Wrath of the Lich King" expansion where you are asked to capture an evil magic user and upon returning him you are asked to "persuade" him to reveal the whereabouts of a captive using an object which causes a jolt of pain (in the game you only here a sound and there is no actual reaction by the mage who is bound in chains).

Perhaps Richard Bartel doesn't feel his name has been in the news enough lately. The last time he came up with something like this it was his now famous "I've played Warhammer Online, it's called World of Warcraft" quote that caused such a stir. I thought that perhaps, with the disbarment of Jack Thompson that we would see a lull to such things.

"Ring alarm bells..."

Is he serious? I'm a NUN for crying out loud and it didn't "ring any alarm bells." No matter what qualifiers that Mr. Bartel puts on the statement in the end it seems little more than an attempt to grab a few headlines. Yes, I understand the whole "real violence versus pretend violence." Fran (my co-host for No Prisoners, No Mercy) and I have had the same discussion so many times we can just call out "discussion number 15" and move on.

I could point out obvious things like the name of the product: world of WARcraft, not World of "bunnies hopping around the screen throwing toilet paper all over the place"...craft. I could point out that the vast majority of mmos do revolve around virtual violence and playing the game no more makes me a violent criminal than ready Moby Dick makes me Captain Ahab. The simple fact of the matter is without conflict drama doesn't exist; every good story has to have a bad guy. Anyone who has ever played World of Warcraft (and as Richard Bartel assured us in his last outlandish statement he HAS played World of Warcraft) knows that the horde aren't really the "bad" guys. The horde were just tricked - used and abused by a lot of people with ulterior motives. Now, finally we, as players get to deal with a real bad guy; the kind of guy as the Joker is described in the latest Batman Movie - "Some guys just want to see the world burn." As players find out when they encounter the Tuskarr, there are life isn't always black and white: sometimes there are grey areas. This quest was one of them.

I am sure the stir that Richard Bartel has created will somehow move Blizzard to modify the quest or take it out of the game - I hope not. Because playing a game no more makes me violent human being than reading Moby Dick will stir me to condone whale hunting.

If Richard Bartel really wants to grab a few headlines why doesn't he tell something like "he wants to see a few more puppy hangings in games."

See you online,

- Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Dec 09, 2008 16:28:25 CST (comments: 0)


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