Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Chivalry is dead. Or isn't it...?

A very strange phenomenon happened last night - and no, I'm not talking about the earthquake in the UK... No, I spent the evening on a campaign to reinstate a game application on facebook. Much more interesting!
::ATTENTION:: Boring Alert - the following post will be about computer gaming and will probably not be very enthralling for those not interested in the genre!!
 Ok, so I'll give you a synopsis of events:
1: Game application called 'Knighthood' (you can get the general idea of the game from the title) - a huge success on the social networking site with approx 105,735 daily active users, a rough 12% of the total users. Basically a time intense strategy game. No animation - all text.
2: At approximately 22:00 last night facebook disabled the game and removed all references to it from their site without informing the developers or the gamers prior to removal. This was a serious breach of the site's own code of conduct, and one of the main reasons for the uproar. (That, and we players couldn't get our gaming fixes!)
3: Between the hours of 22:10 and 02:40 this morning a huge campaign was built up by the users of the game to re-install it on the networking site (emails to relevant people in charge/phone calls to relevant people in charge/campaign groups started on the site etc) to whit: the game was reinstalled and the players got back into the scrum. Believe me, this game is a sensation!

Okay, so it sounds just a tad sad, bizarre and maybe a complete waste of time, but for me it was a very interesting study of human nature.
But firstly I must explain why I think the game was removed in the first place: spamming. Unfortunately, like many applications on facebook and other social sites, you are 'invited' to request (by email or direct message within the site) your friends to join in before you can play/take a quiz/send a cyber gift, to name 3 examples. No-one likes having inboxes filled with crap at the best of times and this is quite an underhand means of filling up the quantity of required users etc. There is, finally, the beginnings of a crackdown on this problem within facebook itself now. It's all a bit complicated for my poor wee head (I was, after all, up until 02:40 last night!) to understand, but the campaign to get this application back was incredible to watch, notwithstanding the (perhaps understandable) reasons why it might have been withdrawn. To try and put it in a nutshell, the players were annoyed and upset that the app had been withdrawn without warning, but were also annoyed that they, in essence, were being 'punished' for the application's/developer's faults... (It did seem very important at the time...)
many people, like me, returned to play the game only to find all reference to it literally wiped off the site and forum threads were started primarily as a 'wtf' question as to the whereabouts of said application. A couple of groups were started along the same lines and grew at a speedy rate. I was very interested to see the kind of people writing in the threads and was reassured, in a way, that I wasn't the only saddo over college age totally engrossed in building up their own realm. There were some incredibly eloquent posters there and I believe it's more thanks to them that the app was reinstalled than it was to the anarchists who, by the sounds of things, may have been doing some hate-mailing to the powers-that-be. Why are some people predisposed to creating mayhem and inciting lynch mobs? I suspect there were a few trolls there, helping things along, too...
 But, to try to get back to my original anthropological topic and the actual reason for writing this post, although I was horribly intrigued by the potential snowballing of the lynch mobs and hate mailings - the jumping on the bandwagon syndrome, I was mostly impressed with the support system that grew up between the threads and groups. These people had, not a few hours before, been raiding the Capitals, seizing vassals and waging war on their fellow players. Then the game was shut down and we had a outpouring of idea-spreading, hint-sharing and support-giving that was, to be frank, rather comforting to be part of. I, myself, didn't supply much of the idea or hint giving, seeing as I'm not actually a very good player, addict that I am, but the support-giving was a no-brainer, as the Americans say. It may be a game, but its removal created very real emotions in a lot of people.
The upshot, as has already been stated above, was that the game was reinstalled and very quickly people began to disappear off the threads and forums back to the raiding, seizing and war-waging almost as if the game had never been down. It was, if I may use an example of a much, much more serious event, like the Germans and the Allies downing guns on Christmas Day to have a game of football, then resuming the war the day after.
But in this case I have been interested to see that there are people still writing on the threads, still offering advice and support, and I believe new friends are being made. I, for one, have 2 new friends thanks to the forums, and although we may meet 'in the field' as it were, we all really
know it's actually only a game, enthralling as it is...
As I said, it was quite an interesting evening, from many viewpoints!
Today, getting back to the real world, to try and offset the massive amount of internet time I spent last night, I decided to blitz the kitchen, complete with getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing the floor. (Couldn't find my mop - *sigh*) Thanks to that I hurt my back, which means that I can't sit long enough in one place for any length of time before I seize up. (This post has been written over a few hours... talk about dedication!) It also means that my knitting can only be done in 10 minute bursts. Very annoying as Percy's strap is now 12 inches from completion.
There must be a lesson to be learned here... It can only be:

"Internet - GOOD :: housework - BAD"!
That certainly works for me!

 And now I think I'm going to go and lie down.


Mair Bloag Weejits

Footerin' Aboot

Footerin' Aboot
Heh! I'm so funny!

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