It´s just a game?
Interesting discussion in the various Blogs out there, particularly Shepherds. This phrase that keeps returning has always made me shake my head, even though I couldn´t pinpoint why, or even argue with it. I just somehow knew that the phrase itself: It´s just a game, was wrong.
Filled with antibiotics and pain-killers because my left ear was about to pop, it suddenly became clear to me. To those of you who have figured this one out already, ok shoot me, I´m slow.
It´s not just a game. It´s a social structure. The same structure we build whenever people meet. It can be a hobby - you meet others with the same kind of hobby, write articles, discuss, it can be a place you meet people, like the pub, it can be a political organization, a choir etc. People meet, argue, make enemies and friends, fall in love, get married
etc. Just like we do in Clanlord. I know at least 2 marriages that has happened because of Clanlord. And now I hear a true Clanlord baby is due in December. The game itself is the hobby that keep this together.
Yes, of course it´s a game. But the nature of the multi-player part makes it not just a game. Imagine you are in a choir, touring the country and you get in angry fight with someone for singing too loud, drinking too much on the bus etc.. And another comes up to you and say: Hey, relax - it´s just a choir...Err?
When humans meet, we build structures. I once made a documentary about a group in Norway collecting Knifes. Not the regular ones, but the hand crafted "Tollekniv" which has a long history here in Norway. They are small pieces of art, and some of these guys could go on and on about how well the blade was made, how tiny details was the work of a genius etc.. They have meetings, boots on Fairs, their own magazine - all the things every passionate hobbyist care for, whether it´s cars, stamps - whatnot. This group was a small one, they all knew eachother or about eachother, they also knew about every smith and knife maker in Norway. The knife was the meeting point the passionate knife lovers met over, and build their own social structure from. As we do in Clanlord.
It really doesn´t matter that the interaction is textual, online - and not face to face. Or that the interaction basis is a game. It´s the same human mechanisms that takes place. Because that´s what we are.