Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pavlovs grind

The other day I was reading some post about gathering in runes of magic mmorpg. It's been a continual thorn as long as I've been playing or watching ROM. It's that you have to keep clicking to gather all the resources from a node.

Actually that's probably a subject in itself, since some people might say "But it's only a click, don't be so lazy!" to which I would say "Okay, if it's just a click, what if they made it that you have to click five times to get one resource out of a node? How about ten times? Is it starting to feel pointless to do that? Well, it was pointless at clicking once for each resource (it should be one click to gather everything from one node)"

BUT, what I wanted to get at is that some people actually find gathering soothing or calming. And I've heard similar things from people about grinding, before.

Now I'd lay into that, but I'll tell you one thing - if I was going to earn real life money from doing that gathering (or grinding), I would find it quite soothing and calming as well. I genuinely would.

What I'm proposing is that the mmorpg has managed to emulate, for some people, the same reasons they think their job is important - not because of the outcome, but because they think certain repeating actions and rituals matter or advance them somehow. It has the same sort of stimulus of doing an actual job...except it doesn't pay any actual money. But these people associate job == doing an important thing. Even though it isn't important and doesn't lead to making any money.

What do you think? Comments welcome, and sorry for the review before - that'll happen from time to time. As many people do, I would like more income in my life.

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