6:00 am and you're getting ready for work. The phone rings and
you think it's your boss calling to tell you to hurry up and get
a move on. After picking it up, you are shocked to discover that
it is a recorded message from a character in the game you bought
the other day telling you to boot up your computer and perform
the following actions to obtain a game clue. You glance at the
phone and then at your computer. You hang up the phone and then
walk away, heading towards the computer in anticipation. Just
then, the phone rings again. You think "It's gotta be my boss".
You pretend you never heard it and continue to carry out the game-character's
Noon now and guess what? You're addicted and you're not at work.
Shame on you! You have over 5 messages on your machine left by
your boss and you couldn't care less. The messages seem to indicate
that when you walk into the work the next day, you'll be fired.
But on the bright side, you've progressed through your game.
next day you get an email from another character in the game...
may not be the epic movie about an earth shattering disaster,
but either way, this game will make a deep impact on the
future of games and how they will be played. That is, if it succeeds.
Oh yeah, the name. EA's Majestic. Essentially, you will not come
to the game, but the game will come to you using numerous methods
of contact such as phone, email, pager, snail mail... you get
can either be a big success or a huge backfire. That is, the concept
can be scary for some people-like me. I for one like to have control
of a game and not let it interrupt me in my daily processes. But
some people want the game to taunt and challenge a player in a
more active/realistic manner. But this can create social problems,
such as losing your job, which can make a deep impact on your
life. I don't see this as exaggerated either, but take it as you
Scenario. You're married now. You just got this really cool RPG
and you're addicted to it, gathering lots of money while slashing
enemies and monsters. One day, your bank phones you to tell you
they've been monitoring the account and found that there was an
enormous amount of money in it. "How?", you say. You make nothing
of it for a few days. Then, a few days later, you buy a really
expensive sword worth $10 000 and you're grinning mischievously,
until you get a call from the bank again. They're telling you
that your bank account is empty. Empty?? How can that be? Your
bank account had lots of money in it only days before. Unfortunately,
you didn't look at the bottom of the box before you bought this
game where it said all currency movement in the game would reflect
in actual real-life financial transactions. Oh boy, now you're
in trouble! Your wife looks at you while you try to hide that
face of despair. You tell her everything is ok. Oh oops, look
out! Someone player-killer just nailed you and took your sword.
You curse at the game and your wife wonders what drugs you're
on. You tell your wife what happens and she runs out the door
leaving you alone and with no money. You try to sell your car
to get your money back.
is just a scenario in an upcoming online RPG that will be coming
out in the future. I am not making this up. As you can see, making
a game where money is a big object and having it reflect in your
real life finances, being able to add and withdraw from your bank
account is something that is potentially dangerous adding to some
possible law conflicts. Some places in the world might think this
as a gambling game and will be banned. Furthermore, what will
the impact be on a kid gambling with real world money not knowing
the consequences? Either way, this game is turning off people
like myself and I for one will not take a gamble like this when
it's only supposed to be a game.
must remember that games are games-end of story. If something
in a game reflects in and changes real life, then that itself
is NOT a game. It's a gamble. Remember, most people play games
to escape reality. But if these game ideas go through-the games
WILL be reality. If this is an attempt to immerse a player into
a game, it's a poor one. If I want to be immersed completely,
I'll wait til I can enter a Holodeck.
Next Week - Happy Gaming!
you've enjoyed this 3 part series! If you've missed the first
two parts. You can access both Part
1 and Part 2.