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Friday, January 14, 2011

Chp 332. The Enigma of Role Playing.

I used to be an MMORPG addict. And believe me, that’s bad. For the uninitiated, Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game are games where people all over the world come together at the same platform and you fight them or become allies etc.

Even after I started working here, I was a slave to browser-based MMORPGs such as TribalWars, Travians, 3Kingdoms, Ikariam etc. You would have seen me dedicate many posts to such games here on my blog too.

Many of you play MafiaWars, Farmville etc. on Facebook. I have never joined the bandwagon because of one reason – I know I’m going to get sucked way deep inside if I ever join.

So I just watched my friends play the whole day, forgetting their work, life and wife. As for me, I promised never to touch the forbidden fruit again... until a few days ago.

Well, it was like this – having such a great phone as mine I told myself the other day, what the heck, lemme download one of the Storm8 games I always see whenever I visit the Android Market.

And the ball never stopped rolling since then.

To begin with, I think we all know what Zynga is - developer of popular social network games like MafiaWars, FarmVille, CityVille etc. Well, I don’t think it will be wrong to say what Zynga is to Facebook and MySpace, Storm8 is to iPhone and Android phones.

Most of Storm8 games are on the top 10 downloads of iPhone and Android app stores – Ninjas Live, iMobster, Pets Live, World War, Kingdom, Vampires, Zombies, Rock Battle and Racing Live.

Storm8 games

I eventually downloaded Ninjas Live. Within 2 days, I am now a level 15 assassin with 4 clan members and max defense. FTW! Ok stop grinning if you are a level 300 Ninja with 1500 clan members reading this post. I just started playing ok I love this game because I can play it right from my phone, wherever I am. The connectivity is amazing, whether I am using wifi (from office) or gprs (from home or while travelling) to play this game.

I am now equipped with all the top defensive points weapons, techniques and spells from my dojo that a level 15 Ninja can have, with 600+ Yakuza gang members as extra defense. Nobody can attack me because nobody in my level can penetrate my formidable defense. People with higher levels cannot attack me because I don’t appear on their attack list. The only way I can be attacked by a higher level person is if somebody puts a bounty on me, and nobody would do that because I am not attacking anybody to piss them off. Lolz

Had I been playing the other MMORPGs I usually play, I would have already been raped by other players had I taken any break to build up my resource instead of defense/offense. Sometimes I would stay up the entire night when we had one of those all out world wars between top tribes and clans, defending our kingdoms, sending reinforcements, counterattacking, sending fake nukes etc etc.

Though such games are way different in terms of game-play from games like MafiaWars and Ninjas Live, the main similarity between such games is – it is pointless. So you just keep expanding and expanding and expanding. And then what? Ah the proverbial question. So you have reached a level 250 mobster or you now reign over 200 Kingdoms with a billion Heavy Cavalry at your disposal. How does that exactly help you with your career or make this World a better place to live in? No answer.

And yet, we still play knowing that sooner or later it is going to become pointless. I guess that is the psychology of role playing. What attracts us to these games is the fact that we can be somebody we are not in real life. An IIM-A grad working at India's premiere Share Market & Financial News and Services Portal, is suddenly a level 300 mob boss. An HR manager working at a marketing firm is a fearless vampire warrior by night. A call centre executive who is extremely shy in real life with hardly any friends, is also known as the Dark Lord with over 1000 other warriors around the world under his command, each of them respecting him deeply and ready to go to war on his command.

Role playing makes us somebody we fantasize about so that we can be that person even if it’s not the real world. For me, it’s a ninja. Oh yeah! And the fact that we are interacting with real people around the world makes it even more exciting.

If you take a look at all Storm8 games, you will see that they are extremely similar in terms of game play. Take away the names and you will not know which game is which. But the fact that each game has an extremely high number of players means that there ARE people who love the respective characters. A vampire freak will play the Vampire game, a zombie fanatic will play the Zombie game, a person who loves reading about wars and weapons will play the World War game, a rock music fan will play Rock Battle Live and so on.

That my friend, is the power of role playing. And here you are, thinking role playing is just about sex. Games like these sometimes deliver more satisfaction than sex, some people say. Cheers!


Here are a few screenshots of Ninjas Live. If any of you play this game on your iPhone/Android, do lemme know (though I am not looking forward to expanding my clan right now as that would make me visible to players with bigger clans. lolz).

Ninjas Live

Ninjas Live

Ninjas Live

Ninjas Live

Ninjas Live


Alejendro said...

I ho wreuh e mai..

illusionaire said...

:D :D :D

Anonymous said...

This is the most boring article you have ever written :D

Rara Avis

illusionaire said...

lolz. Its also the article I enjoy writing the most. haha!

Anonymous said...

Aha...I relish the articles you dn't enjoy writing and the topic you enjoy writing I dn't enjoy...

I wanna ask you 3 Qs.
1. Do you ever suffer from writer's block?
2. I believe many people visits your blog and some anonym (like me) post a comment, do you sometimes wonder who they are, what they are and where from?
3. I genuinely believe that you are richly equipped and talented for writing a novel. When do you plan to write a novel? I would not be surprise when one day your name is listed among the Booker Awardees.(I said this after comparing your talent with A Roy and Kiran Desai)

Rara Avis

triplestar said...

Va ho mai mai reuh tak ve, ziak tupa lah chu tui hmel fu bawksia :D

Maisek said...

To me, playing games are not only pointless, but a real waste of time! However, for others, it could act as an excellent mechanism of adjustment! Playing the role of a person we aspire or dream about offers us a lot of emotional satisfaction, which I believe is much essential for our well-being! Kima, enjoy your game with the awareness that it is psychologically reasonable to build castles in the air!:)

marvinic said...

ka tan chuan awmjia ava nei tlem vele...vawkpui hma a tuikep lung theh ang vel a ni awm e...

Mahse threnkhat tan chuan a interesting viau tho ngei ang....

Anonymous said...

Mr Sandman, ANSWER MY Qsssssss..

Rara Avis

Anonymous said...

This post is something different indeed! all the players are not writers but You are!! so keep it up dude...

kim chinzah said...

I wana ask u something totally unrelated to ur topic...(keeping my pride aside hehe) Have u tried writing/posting new posts from ur phone? I tried to type a new post on the galaxy S internet browser but i couldn't get the keyboard to show up..:(

blackestred said...

Agreed you are a huge MMORPG fan, im just wonder when you'd make a followup post about NO MORE NINJAS LIVE!
Judging from below evidence, I'd give you about 2 months:


same as above said...

*wondering... I hate typos!

illusionaire said...

@ Rara: Hey I just came online now only. I usually dont check my mails during the weekend so that I can take a break because my job is in the online work from monday to friday :)

In answer to your questions:

1. No I don't think I get writer's block because I write about anything on my blog. If I was trying to write only serious stuff, then yeah, I will be getting writer's block for sure. But since I write anything on my blog, its not that difficult coming up with something to write.

2. Yes of course I always wonder who the people who visit my blog are. Its nice to know the profile of your blog visitors. And its very useful to know who your visitors are too because that will show you what kind of posts appeal to people.

3. lolz, thanx for the compliment but I am not the novel writer type. I am way down here while the novel writers are way up there. I just write because it is my passion and I enjoy writing.

illusionaire said...

@ triple star: lolz, tui tak ka ni :D

@ Maisek: You're so right. And it not only offers us emotional satisfaction but also inspires us to be that person in real life (though in my case, it will take a lot of physical training and endurance to be a ninja in real life, haha).

@ marvinic: hehe, nia thenkhat tan chuan a lo interesting ve mahna :D

illusionaire said...

@ anonymous: Hey thanx! :)

@ kim chinzah: Nopes I have blogged anything from my phone yet, primarily because I am very familiar with MS Word which I use to draft my posts. Maybe I'll try one of these days.

@ Blackestred: Haha, that will never happen :) Games like these allow people to play the game as slow as they want because unless you reach level 35, people of higher level cannot attack you. So you can build up your defense and resource for as long as you want. For MMORPGs such as 3Kingdoms, TribalWars, Travians etc, you cannot afford to relax or stay away from your game because people near you would attack you then. And when people attack you, you lose resources and "army" and even get sent to the rim if your castle is overtaken, so you have to start from the beginning again. In the games I am playing now, all that do not happen. :) I don't think I will ever leave this game as I don't need to check it all the time :)

Varte said...

a ho chu ka ti lo, i ho khawp mai :D games ringawt buaipui mai, i naupanchhiat hi a reh thei lo lutuk.

Brawngkela said...

Tum dang cu nei lo ila, i hna cu a nom hmel hle mai ahhaha. Hun khohral nan a nuam bok sia ahaha

Zaia said...

Ka chhiar lo mai teh ang.. :P

illusionaire said...

@ Varte: Reh lo, chuan a reh dawn lo rengs. Naupangchhia till I die! :D

@ Brawngkela: haha... hna thawh pah in a lawm kan khelh :D

@ Zaia: aw han chhiar hram teh hotupa, Mizoram hmasawnna turte pawh a rawn thlen maithei a nia he post hian :D

luliana said...

Tlangval senior buaipui atan chuan a ho ka ti viau dawn a, tlangval senior virgin buaipui atan chuan a awm viau in ka hre leh deuh :P

TSA said...

Games that lohna i rawn ziak a, i khelh nasat thu i rawn tar lang leh lawi a!

Facebook Farmville, mafia war tih vel ka khel ngai lo, game hahdam leh tha ber, Chess chiah ka khĂȘl thin!

Ka phone-ah hian puzzle a awm a, ka khĂȘl tlut tlut! :-D

Android advertiser dik tak i ni! ;-D