Ask Massively: You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

  • "Treating me like a chump"
  • "Betrayal"
  • "lies, cheats, and hypes"
  • "scams, (false) promises, and lies"
  • "Buing (sic) a MMORPG is a matter of TRUST"

Before I start singing "These are a few of my favorite things...", let me point out that these are references to comments in last week's Ask Massively. Specifically, they are comments from some of my readers on how they feel about "buggy MMO's" and the companies that launch them.

Lupinus asks:

How do you trust someone when they lied/misled you?

I hope that most of you didn't find last week's commentary too painful, because you're not going to like this answer much at all.

This may come as a shock to some of you, but companies are not your best friends, nor are they artists striving for perfection in their chosen field. They are business that are trying to make a buck. In order to achieve this goal, they engage in an activity known as "advertising".

Advertising has two definitions which are applicable to our discussion here.

  • "Advertising is the nonpersonal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media."
  • "The process of convincing the credible and the gullible into parting with their dollars in order to purchase an item or service of dubious necessity and questionable quality in order to maximize profitability for corporate masters."
So that you may further understand the nature of this activity, I have taken the liberty of including a thoroughly researched and exhaustively comprehensive list of every advertising activity that has told the complete truth about their product or service.

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Advertising's job is to make you aware of a product or service, not to give you the most intimate and truthful details on those products and services. For example, which would make you more inclined to try out a new game?

  • Come and play a game that will consume all of your free time and where your exploits will be special and heroic, just like the other 7 (now 11) million people who are playing!
Of course advertisers make their games sound better than they really are. Of course they promise the world and fail to deliver. That's what marketing does! Trust? Betrayal? If you are truly gullible enough to put your trust in an advertising campaign, then you deserve what you get.

If you have any common sense at all, you would look at the advertisement linked above and think nothing more than "Hey, that looks like a pretty neat game. I think I'll check it out!" or you can ignore it and proceed to live your life the way you choose. For the sake of argument, let's say that you do run out and pick up a copy of the game mentioned in the advertisement. Let us further stipulate that your exploits fall just short of "legendary" within the game and that you fall into the range of "the average MMO player". After all, we can't all be this guy. Did those mean old advertisers lie to you? Did they betray your trust? No. They did their job and convinced you to try their game.

If you hear buzz, hype, advertising, or anything else about an upcoming game and that game fails to live up to your expectations, please do us all a favor and spare us the melodrama about how you were "betrayed" or "lied to" or how you'll "never trust such-and-such company ever again!" It is OK to be disappointed with a game, and it's OK to walk away from it after a couple of months. It is even OK to be dubious of any future releases from that company. It's called "reputation" and it has made (or broken) more companies than you can care to count. Just don't forget that every MMO company out there wants you to believe the hype just long enough to buy their game. Ultimately, you are the one who has to decide if it is worth it.

As always, if you have questions for us here at Ask Massively, you can drop us a note via our tip line or by email.

This article was originally published on Massively.