Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Aaron (Chapter 4)

Posted by Randolph Carter on June 10, 2009

MMO community connection:

Anyway Games

Chapter 4: Preferences

At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent gaming? How about now?

It’s not unusual for me to spend over 40+ hours of a week gaming, though sometimes I don’t touch my games for days. I’ve been spending a lot of time on my console lately, since I’m enjoying a new game (FUEL on the 360).

When during the week are your regular play times?

No regular hours. Any free time is possible gaming time.

Generally speaking, are you more of a social creature in MMOs (grouping to quest, joining guilds, etc.) or something of a lone wolf?

Mostly alone. I sometimes enjoy small groups, but groups generally aren’t conducive to an explorer’s playstyle.

Have you made any lasting friendships through your MMO experience? Please explain.

No. My online friendships are mostly from blogging.

Before logging into a game, do you already have a course of action planned out in your head, or do you just sort of do whatever you feel like once in game?

I always play impulsively. Since I’m not an achievement-focused gamer, I take my time and don’t mind mistakes.

When playing MMOs do you tend to just play one at a time or do you take more of the smorgasbord approach?

I’ve never played multiple MMOs simultaneously. That’s too much money. Even beyond the money concern, I like to focus on one game at a time.

Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console or tabletop games?

In the past year, I’ve done the vast majority of my gaming on my Xbox 360. There are many great games for it, and I prefer single-player games. I’m attracted to MMOs for reasons other than the social aspect.

Are you something of an altoholic?

Absolutely. As an explorer, I’m always experimenting and searching for new experiences. In some MMOs, I never settle on one character as a main.

Do you find yourself multitasking while gaming (perhaps watching TV, talking on the phone, out of game instant messaging, playing another game, or even listening to a podcast)?

Never. When I play any game, I like to be totally immersed in it.

Do you find yourself having much MMO discussion off-line, perhaps with friends or family?

Nobody I know in person is interested in MMOs. I haven’t played an MMO in a while, but I still discuss their design with fellow bloggers.

Have you ever felt that you game too much? If so, how did you cope with that?

Entertainment should never dominate a person’s life. Luckily, gaming helps me be productive in writing and music. It distracts me enough to let my imagination roam freely, and so ideas pop into my head as I’m playing. I should spend less time gaming, though.

Since you started playing MMOs, have you ever taken a break from the genre? If so, please explain.

I’m on break now. =P I don’t play any game because it’s an MMO. I play a game because it’s a good game. I’ve had my fill of all the MMOs currently out there, and don’t care to play one of similar design. Right now, I’m waiting for MMOs with more active and dynamic gameplay. I’m through with ability timers and enemies that stand still while I hit the same old series of skills. I’m through with taking the same steps every other player takes and pretending that’s adventure.

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