Monday, 28 May 2007

Sharkith and me

Ok so whilst there is a link between Sharkith and I. When I interact through Sharkith with others in the gaming world I get a sense of a different relationship that is between Sharkith and me. It is also between those other players and me. All of these things are interlinked and its hard to keep track of them at once 1. Social interaction is quite good at handling it even if I personally cannot process all the information at once.

Lets keep it basic. Being Sharkith was also to be me this relationship developed as I interacted with others in the game. The problem was of course that he was only as good as my knowledge of the game and his abilities reflected on me. This I know because in those initial months when I was getting to know the game. He was not very good, in fact he was awful. We were awful. He had become the victim of my indecision. Should I use blades or piercing weapons? Should I go for maximum stealth? I developed him in several directions at once and his progress slowed down. I am no expert on these kinds of games that’s for sure and poor Sharkith was not doing too good in those heady days because of me. I was an right 'noob'. I was often called that by some of the more honest players that I met in the game. Being called a noob at the start of ones MMO career is normal though and not something to be too worried about. Some people could be vicious about it others were just messing around.

Sharkith was not mine though. My memories of playing through Sharkith are mine. The company don't own those, they enabled me to have those memories, that's true, but its not the whole story by a long shot. Every memory I have of Sharkith I have subtly exchanged for other memories that could have been of different things, more tangible things. Things that I owned and that were indisputably mine. Memories that could have filled this time instead. My memories with Sharkith are entangled with the world in which he existed they are embedded in that game. That game is not my game it is owned by a company.

Anyway the point is a simple one the relationship between Sharkith and I/me cannot be explained by physical keystrokes alone. Neither had it anything to do with content, don't over rate your importance. The content was basically task driven and was basically a chore. At one level the relationships were normal social relationships and can be explained in normal interaction terms between the "I" wanting to achieve in the gaming world and the "me" emerging in interaction between Sharkith, other players and my knowledge of the game. I was learning a lot about the rules of play at that time. There is however another relationship here that is not quite apparent, that relationship is an exchange relationship. Something that becomes crucial to the long term story, something that can from time to time become nefarious.

I was not simply trading money I was trading time and memories to be Sharkith and to meet my new friends. There I was interacting on all those levels at that time I became more and more focused on the relationships and forgot about the company. They were my friend after all weren't they?

1. If you know symbolic interaction you will know the configuration being used here.


Gahn said...

YOur writing style keeps amazing me :)
Good work m8, am eagerly waiting the next articles where u gonna, no doubt, hit the nail in the head about the real problems lying behind MMPORGS.
Gahn LoneWolf
The Lonely Italian Gimp of Nfd ;)

Lieva said...

Very nice so far shark :)
just keep updating :D