Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
28 April 2009
Gamer Labor: City of Heroes
City of Heroes recently allowed gamers to create their own questlines. I've only played CoH briefly, and my impression apparently was, "Tired engine, bland missions, and large headaches means they likely won't be getting my dough."

Having gamers pay for the privilege of providing free labor has always fascinated me. I've got AWB (Another WoW Blog) myself, and have posted a bit on Thottbot and WoWWiki. I guess you'd have to add Player vs. Player as another sort of gamer labor.

But CoH has taken this free labor to another level by letting players create in-game quest lines. It can't be that hard; heavens knows the quests in WoW and my recollection of CoH are usually pretty boring. "Kill X of Y and get Z from their corpse" just about sums up the typical quest experience, somewhat reminiscent of Matt's and my critiques of a number of games being little more than variations on the "find key, eliminate enemies, exit level" theme.

Which is why a comment like this one from the City of Heroes' news site seems self-deflationary:

We did some data mining of our own, and 3,800 surpasses the amount of content that we, the developers, have made for all of City of Heroes and City of Villains combined. In just one day our users did more than we could in almost five years.

What does such a comment tell us? I understood why I'd buy Quake -- for the engine -- and then play mods released for free. I'm not so sure why I'd spend a monthly fee to play user created content. More interesting, though, is figuring out why players would give this content to CoH so freely and why CoH would say it's the equivalent to years of their own work. I wonder why Second Life or an equivalent doesn't play engine to these sorts of adventure construction set games. We've obviously gotten to the point where quest creation is a franchiseable process, easy to reproduce by almost any french frying knucklehead.

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--ruffin at 11:18
Comment [ 2 ]

Comments on this post:

Why give content? Well to show off your skills. It si teh same as fan fiction you do it to share your ideas and to impress other fans as to what "you woudl do".

By Blogger Lincoln, at 05 May, 2009 14:06  

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