Society Through the Lens of MMOs

I may not be a hardcore gamer, but I like to play games. I’ve spent some time looking into a lot of different MMOs hoping to find one that I can enjoy. Unfortunately, here in the West, decent MMOs are hard to come by. One of the issues that bothers me the most is the obsession with PVP. I really think that this reflects on our society as a whole. Unlike Eastern cultures, here in the West we start pushing the Us vs. Them mentality onto our children from the very start. That concept is perpetuated throughout society. As children go to school, they separate into their various groups, and create their own “in” and “out” groups…ostracizing those who are considered “out”. That mentality is continued into the workplace as employers pit workers against one another to gain meaningless trophies and awards for “accomplishments” no one will remember. As a result, we have a society full of aggressive, egomaniacle, insensitive people who are eager to “prove” themselves at the expense of someone else.

This points to even deeper societal issues. The preference towards harming others as opposed to working together toward a common goal (raiding, bounties, etc.) suggests that people don’t want a successful cooperative game environment…or society for that matter. This Us vs. Them mentality has become so ingrained in our way of life that people don’t want to change. They don’t want to work together. They don’t want a better gaming environment. They don’t want a better world. To me, that is both sad and scary.

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