The Cheerleader and the Cyberpunk

Casi, over on Eclyptic Rift (which you shouldn’t need the link for because you read it anyway. Right!?) is once again going all meta on us. I actually enjoy these posts immensely, because an exploration of MMOs on a social, psychological and even ethical level is an exploration into the psyches of the players of said games, and in a broader sense, human nature at large.

Today, I specifically want to look at this:

EVE, the original seductress… wait, wrong EVE. But still: she’s that incredibly intelligent girl I once knew who had a mind second to none, a darkly attractive style all her own, and an attitude to match. Difficult, but for anyone fortunate enough to get her attention, a supernova couldn’t even hold a candle to her. Unfortunately, that could also hold true for her acerbic wit and anger.

WoW certainly is. She’s that hot girl who treated everyone with a dazzling smile, who maintained a style that easily blended cutting-edge fashion with simple classics, and looked great on your arm. But she knew nothing about anything of great significance, so while the sparks might fly at first, eventually the whole thing fizzled.

And here is where I offer up my own analogy along the same lines. If WoW was a cheerleader; a stereotype of a blonde bimbo who’s great for a laugh and for a fun time, but has all the charisma and wit of a grapefruit, then EVE is that deliciously different, clever cyberpunk girl you always had the hots for, but didn’t have the foggiest where to begin.

Back in reality, successful polygamous relationships are very hard work, and 9 times out of 10 they don’t work at all due to individual preferences, emotional needs and other such things. If you know anyone who does have a successful polygamous relationship (out of choice rather than religious doctrine – though I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with how anyone lives their life), then you know that all parties are incredibly happy. The chances of you finding a hot cheerleader who is that cyberpunk chick on the side is incredibly unlikely, so we look elsewhere to satisfy the id, ego or super-ego; whichever is needing the attention (if you happen to follow Freud’s structural model of the psyche anyway).

Playing WoW and EVE together (or at least having active, played subscriptions for both) is on a basic level the act of having your cake and eating it too. You get all the thrills of instant gratification, with bright colours, fast-paced action and limited thinking required (id/ego), coupled with the deep-thought, long-term goal-centric sandbox of patience and cunning (ego/super-ego). Its polygamy, but in a totally geeky non-committal kind of way.

There’s a lot of animosity between the EVE community and WoW. I think the preconceived notion is that Warcraft is for idiots, twelve year olds, or idiot twelve year olds, but that’s not exactly true. Its also for people that want to unwind. Using yet another analogy (*groan*) Warcraft is a soap opera, or a sitcom, and EVE is a gritty drama.

Avoiding further use of analogies, I shall leave with a simple statement of fact. You can like both, despite what your peers may say.

Comments for this Post

0 thoughts on “The Cheerleader and the Cyberpunk”

  1. 14th Feb '11 at 11:55 pm

    I’ve played both, had active subscriptions in both for the longest time, until recently I switched back to EVE only. WoW was what came before EVE, and maybe now EVE will be what lasts beyond WoW.

    Cas says it best though, WoW offers better gameplay or design choices but EVE has the better community. I love both games for what they are, and I am at a phase now where I am done with the first. I am sure someday I will be done with EVE too. Although I hope I will go to some new game, because after 6 years, I crave something new and exciting that isn’t a hyped piece of junk.

    • 15th Feb '11 at 4:33 pm

      WoW has always been very highly polished. I think since launch I have played on an off for over two years, and I can’t really remember an instance of crashing outside of beta. Sure there are bugs, and I have had to petition broken quests a couple of times, but that’s to be expected.

      As soon as you introduce more levels of complexity (which is not to say its easy balancing however many classes/race combinations you can have in WoW) its becomes that much harder to make things robust. In EVE, as you well know, you can go anywhere and do anything you have the inclination to, so long as you don’t break any of the game’s rules. WoW is fairly open compared to traditional RPG video games, but its nothing compared the the vast complexity of EVE. Its this that is both the saviour and condemning factor of CCP’s game.

  2. Zanaraxtarus
    15th Feb '11 at 1:23 pm

    As someone in a polygamous relationship, I must say you hit the nail on the head…
    I’ve always thought of the people I date as each filling certain needs which the other(s) can not and I have always felt the same about the games I play.. It’s not as if there is anything WRONG with one or the other (or the other) it’s just that no one relationship (of any kind) can offer all we need today as well as all we may need tomorrow…
    Although, as odd as it may sound, it seems easier to maintain multiple real-world relationships than multiple game relationships.. But I guess, were I not spread so thinly in the real-world, I’d have more time for multiple games, eh? 🙂

    • 15th Feb '11 at 4:44 pm

      I’m glad I got it right. The last thing I wanted to do is paint a group of peeps with a brush that was entirely the wrong colour. Its nice to hear that the people I know who are in this kind of relationship aren’t just the one-offs of successful polygamy. More power to you… four? 😉

      • Zanaraxtarus
        04th Mar '11 at 1:23 pm

        Actually, I’m back down to two right now, so I’m getting pretty bored…
        Ever consider visiting Arkansas? 😉

  3. 15th Feb '11 at 4:22 pm

    For the record, my experience with polygamy pretty much extends only to suggesting it to my wife, and getting as noncommittal of a response as you can imagine. I also know almost nothing about Freud. But your kind words at the opening and your thorough analysis really leave me speechless. 🙂

    That said, I’d love to hear more from you and Myrhial and others about how you fit both games into your lives. Well, in Myrh’s case, she’s sort of left WoW behind, and I’m not quite ready to do that.

    • 15th Feb '11 at 4:42 pm

      The non-committal response is something that would trigger the appearance of Admiral Ackbar if I were in that situation. Different strokes for different folks, and you really have to do what’s best for both parties to maintain a healthy relationship. 🙂

      I’ve also left WoW behind now. The temptation to go back and see everything all ‘splodey-like was quite strong, but I’ve resisted thus far. I think the only chance of me returning would either be a sudden -need- for mindless relaxation, or a resurgence of various groups I used to hand out with there.

      While people leaving in EVE makes me sadder than with other games, I find it almost indescribably easy to meet other awesome people there. In contrast, if an awesome friend in WoW left, I was usually left wondering why I was still playing, and the hunt for more decent folks was perpetually obscured by the intensity of goal-driven gameplay; nobody has much time to talk.

      Maybe you’re right, and I should do more posts about it. I just don’t want to drift too far from the EVE-centric roots of this blog. I could always do it elsewhere I suppose. 🙂

      • 15th Feb '11 at 5:07 pm

        Eh. I’m comfortable with my safety given the conversations she and I had. 😉

        Working on a post now to discuss SWTOR, WoW, and EVE, and where the conflict lies for me.

  4. 15th Feb '11 at 8:38 pm

    Lacking something witty or insightful to add, because you just went and said it all, i’ll say, what she said. WoW has the up-front, shiny, goodness and the insta-gratification. Eve has a subtle intriguing mystery and depth you discover slowly, and occasionally at some pain, which depending on your predilections is its own reward.

    I think a lot of the animosity between the two (and others) boils down simply to tribalism – “my dad is bigger than yours”, or “my team is better than yours”. Lock your target, exaggerate it for effect and you have smack-talk-in-a-bun. The more chefs in the kitchen, each adding there own particular relish, the more vitriolic it becomes. I’m not a fan of collectivism, or being told i have to have gherkins to have a “real” sandwich.

    I currently have active subs to both Eve and WoW, although I mostly push the cake around the plate on both sides. I’m not a poly-gamist by nature, and I miss the intensity that has me committed to just the one. I miss the obsession that has me thinking of her at work constantly. I miss the craving need to check in on my lunch hour*.

    Maybe I’ve been burned too many times; maybe I’m waiting for the bug to bite again; maybe, I’m waiting for RawrOS to infect my system…

    * = Mild OCD tendencies means my skill queue is rarely close enough to running on empty, but its the thought that counts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *