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On MMOs, cakes, and sand castles

Chris Chester

Most MMO blogs that we read are very upfront about the immediacy of their concerns. Are Druids getting nerfed in the next patch or not? How soon will it be before we can finally use a Personal Armor Unit? Is Warhammer Online going to ship before it's complete? It's not every day that we scroll through our RSS reader and see a blog entry that really attempts to approach higher thinking. While we have always had a tremendous amount of respect for the bloggers over at Kill Ten Rats, we were still a tad surprised to see a post Zubon made a little over a week ago where he waxes philosophic on the illusion of permanence in the MMO genre.

He questions whether accomplishing things in an MMO is like baking a cake (not a lie) or building a sand castle; they're fun enterprises, and can be very fulfilling accomplishments for their time, but their very existence is fleeting. Are our nightly accomplishments in MMOs any less transient? The ultimate answer, if you were to ask this blogger, is that everything in life is ultimately ephemeral, it's just a question of shelf-life. But then, this is the sort of talk that we'd expect to hear from somebody on the verge of quitting MMOs, which we sincerely hope isn't the case. Ephemeral or not, MMOs still let us meet and keep in touch with friends and unwind after a long day's work. There's an undeniable value in that.

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