Nick Yee posted a very interesting report about the “Superstitions” in online games. If you don’t know him, he regularly conducts researches about online gaming and is considered one of the top 5 authorities when it comes to the psychology of online games.
Before you read my reaction, a lengthy one… read the report first: Online Game Superstitions. After reading, either read my comments below, or just answer my simple question: What superstitions have you heard or encountered during your online gaming experience? Which online game? by posting/replying here.
There are more funnier, weirder, or crazier superstitions around, from my experience as someone who works in the online gaming industry and been one of the people behind Philippine Ragnarok Online, Gunbound Philippines, Mu Online Philippines, to name a few, these superstitions are actually more advantageous than busting it.
One is, it keeps the ‘fun’ factor alive and gives the community something to discuss. And since I am one of those from the ‘inside’, I know which superstitions are true and which are not.
Funnier still are when the people ‘inside’ are themselves believers in the superstitions (though I will not name which game) and this one is related to item upgrades as well.
I guess I developed a method in detecting the validity of these superstitions, one of it is, “the more they (try to) explain it, the more they get excited, then it is not true”. Our logical minds are being convinced by our creative minds.
Of course, lack of logic is one sign. Or the presence thereof but is not a sound ‘programming’ practice or logic, is yet another sign. Coming from the programming space, all I can do is smile.
Yes, we all know ‘random’ is not really ‘random’ in its truest meaning and sense, but the probability of one (person, character, account, spot, action) getting the same result “because” random is not really 100% random is too small. Now consider the number of people claiming that exact same superstition (or a minor variation of it) to be true or real, it becomes even more unbelievable. 50 to 500 people getting that, let’s say and be generous – 10% non-random (flaw, if you will)?? Too small of a probability to happen.
If that superstition is real, then there are only two things to explain it:
- it’s by design
- it’s a bug
Everybody must be benefitting from it, or the game is very unbalanced and contains lot of flaws. I definitely will not play that online game.
Is a self-confessed bibliophile and technophile other than being an early adopter, an avid gamer, a geek, nerd, role-player, anime otaku, and trekker.
His first online project was in 1998 when he launched the unofficial website for Ansalon MUD (a text-based, telnet online game) and his own community forums Laibcoms.Community. By 2003 he created his work blog GM-Yukino which grew into gameshogun™, Snoworld™, and techmagus™ over the years.
Yuki’s latest project is Verses.Space™, a Free Culture / Creative Commons, collaborative, and shared-world, worldbuilding and writing project.
Superstitions in Online Games by gameshogun™ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Legal Notice.