Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Game

It's time that I confess another guilty pleasure of mine - MMORPG's.  For those of you that do not fall into the "geek" category that stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.  Examples include WoW (though I never played it), Ultima Online (played that one for over 10 years), and Everquest (commonly referred to as Evercrack because of it's addictive nature and, again, I never tried it).  Now there is another term that I need to make you all familiar with, it's called LARP which stands for Live Action Role Play.  This is more commonly associated with table-top role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons but the variety is endless.  It's basically people who get together and physically act out game scenarios so you might see folks in the park with wooden swords hacking away at each other.  Here in Vegas they might be employees at the Excalibur practicing but they might also be LARPers LARPing.

Well yesterday my brother invited me to join the best of both worlds in an online fitness game based on role playing games.  You are the character and as you perform exercises and log them to your account you earn points and, after you earn enough points you rank up.  As you rank up or complete quests you can earn badges and titles for your profile - it's a blast.

The game is in BETA right now so I am going to omit the name of it because I'm not sure what the invitation structure is like right now but I started playing yesterday and am a level two.  Talk about motivation!  I did my 100 jumping jacks and only earned 39/100 points toward my first rank increase.  Well that's hardly the way I am when I play a game so after football practice I did another 100 jumping jacks and some push-ups because I wanted to level up before bed.  If that's not motivation, I don't know what is.  Were it not for the new game I probably would have just gone to bed on 100 JJ's and 3/4 mile walking.  They have special badges for running specific distances overall ... I've got my eye on those babies!!!

140 oz of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Healthy Choice lunch
1 serving sunflower seeds
8 oz roasted duck breast
Daily Caloric Intake: 935

100 jumping jacks
80 crunches
Walking: 0.9 mile
Sprinting: 0.9 mile (on/off)
I left the house and sprinted till I couldn't breathe, then stopped and stood still while I caught my breath.  Then sprinted until I couldn't breathe, and stopped to rest.  I did that until my shins started to hurt and I knew that I was slowing down from a sprint to a jog - then turned around and walked home - hence the perfectly equal distances. :)  If I'd been tracking my distance as I went I would pushed in the full mile each way but I didn't know how far I'd gone until I got home and checked it out on Google Maps.  Next time ... I'll go that extra 0.1 mile.


  1. I started a game like the one you talk about a few months back. I just never got into it. Too easy to cheat the system just for leveling sake.

    Now, EQ I played for 11 years and Warcraft I'm on year 7 ;) haha

  2. Snackers mentioned the cheating aspect too but I just couldn't see the point. It's not like you get anything tangible from leveling up - the only benefit of playing the game is the health benefit of being active and, in my case hopefully, losing weight.

    Of course UO and WoW were pretty easy to cheat too, if memory serves. There were script programs you could run in UO so that your character would complete a series of actions over and over again (like practicing tailoring or blacksmithy or mining ore) even if the human player wasn't at the computer. There used to be items and gold for sale on eBay for both UO and WoW that people would pay IRL money for too. People used to put their sword fighters in a sheep's pen and make the sheep attack them and then walk away from the computer for hours on end. The sheep wouldn't ever kill the characters but being attacked by them for long periods of time would raise their parrying skill and dexterity.

    But the whole point of playing a game is the entertainment of playing the game. It took me a little over ten years to 7x GM my chars and earn enough gold that I had two of the biggest houses available in the game, and save items that ended up becoming extreme rares later on, and build reputations for my characters among the other players. By the time I got to that point the game wasn't fun anymore and I stopped playing. Had I used the available cheat options I would have probably gotten bored with it a lot faster.

    I guess that's how I view this new MMO/LARP. I could cheat and post a bunch of stuff I didn't really do but what's the point? Where's the benefit? It would take all of the fun out of it.

  3. I have thought about the cheating part of it too and came to the same conclusion as R300. Unlike regular role-playing games where you duel someone and can get a rush from being able to kick someone's butt, this game is less-tangible... you don't actually have 2 avatars on the screen out-working-out each other, so the actual event of "winning" is much less of a boost... the boost is more in your mind, the knowledge that you *ACTUALLY* did what your profile says you did.

    Sure, there are going to be a few extremely narcissistic people who fake it to make top rank on the leaderboards... but most of those would only be interested in doing it super short-term, which would be likely to be spotted by the admins and revealed as a fake; that leaves an extremely tiny number who will go through the process of logging in each and every day over months and log in fake-but-realistic workouts.

    The narcissists in this game are likely to be a very small number.

    The other factor is that this game revolves strongly around the idea of teams; you join a team, you compete against members of that team. For me the competition factor against people I don't know gives me *ZERO* incentive. I've joined a couple of groups more to see what other people are doing and chit-chat, but not for competition. But I also created a "The Fam" group where my family can join (and probably close friends too) -- and then WE can compete against each other. Now that's a whole lot more motivating to me... and I think a whole lot less likely to be cheating... after all, if your sister is consistently killing you at the game and then you see her in 2 months and she's horribly out of shape and you have washboard-abs... I mean... the cat's outta the bag.

    So far it's a really kewl game... course, we're on like day #3. ;)

  4. I got reallllly excited when I read your first line in google reader and saw WoW. But then I saw that it was just a tease!!! NOT COOL! You must try WOW. I have never cheated and ran a scrip like your saying. That kind of crap gets your account frozen. LOL Do you have a wii? There is a wii game that is a little like that. You walk and get points then spend points on new songs and unlocking stuff. It is called Walk It Out. I read about it on another blog and went out and bought it.

  5. Bro: We'll have a crunch-off at mom's for Christmas. You're so going down!

    Swan: I'm not sure if you've been exposed to it in WoW but there is a relatively large rivalry between WoW players and UO players - or at least there was within UO when WoW first came out. I actually did do a free trial of WoW for about 20 minutes during beta before the servers crashed. While waiting for them to come back up I logged back in to UO and then forgot to ever go back and check on WoW again. But I played UO hard core. I had 14 chars that were all 7x GM, two 16x16 houses, a full snow globe set, a full collection of onyx statues, and a boat load of super rares from the first few years after the game came out (like chocolate, before they decided to give it away for Valentines day 6 years ago and make the 13 year old chocolate I had completely worthless). I'd killed every monster (both standard and paragon) ran several factions, tried every skill type (though didn't gm them all because some of them I just didn't like ... like bushido), pvp'd, and changed shards three times. After all of that I got kind of burned out on MMO's. I did demo another MMO that was in beta, and to my knowledge never did go public because their servers just couldn't stay up for more than 10 - 15 minutes. After being so deeply involved in UO I found it hard to adjust, psychologically, to a new MMO. I just couldn't help but not like the fact that it was different from UO but, of course, that's the point of trying something new - I know. I just found that I was too overly critical and compared it to UO in every way which kinda ruined it for me.

    Right before my brother turned me on to this MMO/LARP I was considering opening a brand new UO account and starting all over from scratch but I'm glad I didn't. I really don't have the time to invest in it like I used to. (I didn't run scripts or buy IG stuff on ebay either and I know that MOST players in both UO and WoW earn their things the hard way but there were the select few narcissists who just wanted to be important I suppose. Glad to know you're a fellow gamer!!!)

    p.s. tried the demo of Walk it Out. It wasn't half bad. I do have a Wii but I don't break it out much anymore. My new living room is much smaller than my old one was.