Someone else's lightly-structured thoughts (Criticism)

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Sunday, July 24, 2022, 10:55 (21 days ago) @ Claude Errera

I used to call Everquest the world's most over-developed chat room, because I didn't really care for the gameplay or the setting but I kept playing it just to talk with people.

It's an absurdity that games I think of as being good at facilitating community have these weird relationships with players and in their esteem describe them as being almost…abusive. It's not enough that it just has communication features and represents a virtual "Third Place" (in fact I don't really use ANY of Destiny's communication features.) There is some attribute(s) in a type of game that supports this kind of thing. I think part of it is that most of the gameplay does not require rapt attention. It needs to offer that kind of tension, but most of the time you would not want the distraction from the socializing. I think this might be related to the "easy" charge leveled at D2 here, but it is slightly different. I do think that being too hard would also interrupt the social aspect. I think we have all seen conversations end or relationships turn acrimonious in a Raid. People don't usually become more pleasant people when they struggle.

The only time I can think of a game that I really liked as a game on its own but also had a solid and long-lived community for me was Halo 3, and honestly I don't know if that was the game or just the fact that we all came out of I Love Bees together which is a game that was magically powerful for knitting together a group of players. There was a couple of semi-solid groups that came out of the BC2-B4 era of battlefield, but it still felt more like a pickup group in the park than an actual social unit.

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