What is up with World of Warcraft people?

This woman (turn up/down sound as needed) actually prostituted herself out to get $5,000 in-game gold to get an epic flying mount. I’m just kind of stunned this woman sold herself to get something in a video game she could have just as easily saved up and earned herself. I mean, isn’t that part of the fun of the whole experience? It’s not real money. Real life wouldn’t be affected by this epic purchase so it’s not like she’d really be in the hole after the fact, except game-world wise. And my thought is: why?

What’s funny/sad is that this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of things like this, or even witnessed first-hand. Somebody I actually knew destroyed his marriage with his wife and kids over some gold-digging nightmare he met on-line. There was also a seemingly promising video game company I knew of that went bankrupt and closed down because the CEO did basically the exact same thing as the above-mentioned person: Destroyed their lives over some harpy they met on an online game. It makes you wonder why these things happen. I would think that a larger percentage of the girl players actually play the game for the experience, not to man-hunt or destroy marriages.

But to the original woman, maybe that was just her “thing” to hook up with Blood-Elves, and she probably could have met someone without the exchange of virtual currency for sex that could have fronted her an in-game loan. But these types of stories make the news more than people who tromp through the game normally. But after two brushes with this sort of behavior in real-life, and reading stories like this, it just makes you wonder why do some of these people even play video games? I used to play Phantasy Star Online, but my enjoyment was in treating the game like a IM Messenger with my friends where I just so happened to kill robots and demons along the way.

I’ve also been hearing stories about Gamestop showing in-store videos that show the entire endings to current video games. For the month of April, they are apparently showing the full ending to Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I personally haven’t finished everything in Twilight Princess, but I also avoid things that would tip me off to the overall plot, so that as I continue, nothing’s ruined for me. I really don’t like the idea of walking into a game store and having the ending of the game shoved in my face while I shop. I find the practice disrespectful. Heck, I don’t even see the Aerith plot thread resolution divulged that often from Final Fantasy VII, and that’s a 10 year old game.

For me, completing a game and getting the ending sequence is the reward for a lot of work. I don’t think total, blatant spoilers (especially the ending) should be shoved in the face of the customer because not everyone has beaten the game, and I normally won’t trade-in my old games. I tend to hold on to the special ones like I do with books and movies. Gamestop doesn’t really seem (or even care) to stay in touch with the customer that they service. But for gaming stores, there’s not much for alternative. EB, Babbage’s and Funcoland are all merged into the Gamestop collective now, so there’s your choices.

I often wonder what is going on with modern gaming, and maybe G4’s remaining game-related content isn’t as weak as I think it is, and maybe it really is catering to today’s gamer mindset. I still don’t think the media has figured out what gaming is. They still treat it like a “fad” even though it’s pretty much been a mainstay for nearly 30 years now. But I think the more publicized mindset is why gaming isn’t looked at seriously as an art form or lasting media. The story, art and music of a game are still largely overlooked, and gamers are still being painted up to be brain dead-idiots who play with toys, when not all of us are.

So what are your thoughts about any of this?

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