Home > Entertainment, Video Games > Free to Play, Pay to Win

Free to Play, Pay to Win

My illustrious video game career came to an abrupt halt, or at least a slow C Walk, a year or so ago when a temp agency found me a J-O-B that I D-O-N-‘-T L-I-K-E V-E-R-Y M-U-C-H. Though I am still a man of the people, I don’t really play. How did I go from Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt to Halo 2 and Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne to nil? The same way alcoholics shake their crippling addiction: another addiction; but this time it would not be Jesus who freed me from the controllers’ reins (metaphor in obsolescence due to technological advancement), but rather information (Dan Rather’s information?). I reasoned that while there are spillover benefits in that I can improve hand-eye coordination and communication skills whilst gaming, it is not often, while I am outside the house, that I employ the word “N*#(@%!!!!”  1,343 times per hour while concomitantly twiddling my fingers between my legs. No, indeed, those two things happen at different times.

The infotainment on the many internets as well as books that I have trouble finishing has appeased the region of the human brain responsible for the desire to “Level Up.” I have effectively tricked my brain into thinking that the real world is a game (perhaps a boring one like The Sims) and that by knowing things I have some kind of “Power Up” that those other newbies or noobs don’t, excuse me, n00000000000000bs. While I still have strong and at times desperate cravings for mana, I deem my personality too addictive for even casual or Wii-like gaming (though I have dabbled in Gears of War, Halo 3, Mario Kart, and some internet crap i.e. addictinggames.com).

So it may be my out-of-the-loop-ness that made it interesting to talk to another gamer yesterday: Amongst the disbursing hoards of the Santa Barbara Beer Festival his smart dressing school teacher girlfriend invited me to attend an afternoon house party (kind of like a soiree, only earlier). I should add, the fact that I had a neon pink, “Designated Driver” wristband on did not keep me from stumbling on my way out.

Anyways, beyond sharing with me all his projects and knowledge in the way of home brewing as others were watching inning # 5 of fucking 13 of the Angels/ Yankees series game 2, he showed me a couple games which require nothing to play initially but you can gain a competitive advantage by shelling out some cash. Again, someone else learned how to take advantage of the “Level Up” part of the brain. A very interesting monetization strategy and the games are not half bad. In fact, said Beer Brewing Gamer explained to me that he dropped about 75 bucks between the two games and likewise praised their technique.

Just remember, “The key to victory is the element, of surprise…SURPRISE!” (www.gotfuturama.com/Multimedia/EpisodeSounds/2ACV17/Sound1.mp3)

Battlefield Heroes: Play with a client in your web browser, 3 different unit classes, and fun cartoony graphics. The nice thing about this one is that you can be everything that the elite players are without paying, however, paying money can let you do things like leveling up faster.

BattleForge: This one merges RTS (Real Time Strategy) with a card collecting component. The Beer Brewing Gamer, who, I am sure, would rather be referred to as a Chemical Engineer, said the Magic the Gathering player in him, made him play this one. I didn’t realize they were still gathering. He said that to be elite in this one, you need to shell out money; the most expensive card goes for a whopping 23 bucks. If that sounds like a lot I am sure that the US Treasury has a bailout plan for troubled virtual mythical armies.

Another little delight I found independently is “Jump Gear 2.”  With a flash player and you can design your own levels. Microsoft/Yahoo it! (it’s gonna catch on)

Finally, is this educational? I cannot tell, Molecula.

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Categories: Entertainment, Video Games
  1. 2009-10-19 at 21:59:38

    I completely understand being an information junkie; I too am obsessed with leveling up in every aspect of life. Unfortunately for myself, I’ve had to take a time-out from improving physically, academically, and professionally (hopefully it’s only temporary) due to my back problem.

    I’ve had an off-again / on-again relationship with video games. I played a good deal of console games growing up. Then, I had a heroin-like addiction to Counter-Strike that had a grip on my life for about 2 years. After that I played a good amount of Halo, but was slowly becoming obsessed with PUA stuff and saw video games as a waste of time. I had all but banished them from my life until finals week of my second semester in law school when I thought it would be a good time to buy an Xbox 360 (fuck law school). Ten billion hours of Gears of War later, I started becoming very busy in my life and played less and less. I concluded at the time that I had “grown out of” video games and didn’t have time for them anymore. My life was pretty devoid of them for a while. Then, I noticed that some people played them and were still able to do other things in their life (aka “have a life”). I started to play in moderation. When I had to stop work and school to get my surgery and recover, I thought “Ah, time to get reacquainted with my old friend.” Sadly, I got the red ring of death shortly thereafter. I’ve looked up ways to fix it myself since my warranty is expired, and I’ll let you know the results of my endeavor.

    So yeah, video games are fun. I like money.

    Oh, I created a character in Battlefield Heroes. Anyone wanna play?

  2. Johnteezey
    2009-11-09 at 22:05:18

    I now know that you have apparently solved your anal ring worm problem (Xbox) with 6 pennies (I had no idea they had value). You say that Melays is your inspiration for the balanced life gamer which I think is cool.

    I’d like to think I could do it too, I reinstalled Warcraft III, with the sole intent of designing a custom map that would have all the characters renamed as Immune cells. I was inspired by the Immunology game that Melays linked.

    Then I got a little frustrated by the interface for designing custom levels (though I do understand that the Spazz was successful with that flying marble game). This is when my brain started to turn on me. It said, “Well, try to play with what you have, hmmm, that’s not really working, just play a normal game to get the feel of it again. Okay maybe one more against a human opponent. Maybe another against the computer to practice again, then another human to compare where you’re at, you know, with where you used to be. Oh, now play a custom game, that makes sense, because that’s what you’re ultimately trying to design. Yes, that’s it, you still have control. You’re gonna, make that custom level, no worries. All you buddy.”

    Naturally, for the following 4 days I had ‘the itch,’ and I’m not talking about your ring worm problem. My brain still trying to trick me: “Just one game, just to get that competitive spirit up. Harmless, you’re in control, I mean, you have plans to test out your educational idea. It wouldn’t be bad. How long could it take? Like 30 minutes, one game. So what if you have work, if your back hurts too much to sit in a chair”

    Dried up vagina lady:
    Did you know that 80% of Koreans can only stop playing Corporate Video games upon the threat of death/ holding out on Kimchi?

  3. Johnteezey
    2009-11-09 at 22:16:04

    In case I need to prove that I’m not hating on the Koreans: Case in point, see the Korean’s hotter than the Chinese one.

  4. Garrett
    2009-11-10 at 08:35:14

    Wow, I’m famous 😛

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