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Day 12/16/2010

The Social Nutwork

I have a particularly addictive personality when it comes to computer games. When the Infocom games like Zork first came out, I spent hours on my Commodore 64 plugging away at them to solve their mindless mysteries. I was addicted to several of the Ultima series and even a few of the early primitive online RPGs like Nethack and Angband. When the MMORPG rage started, I was addicted to Ultima Online, then Everquest, then Dark Age of Camelot, then World of Warcraft. However, I have an unusual on/off switch for these games. I can be playing the game nonstop for weeks, and then suddenly quit and never play the particular game again. If I could figure out why I stop cold turkey on these games, I could probably get some decent work as a consultant on MMO projects, but I really don’t know the answer.

One of the big crazes these days is Facebook games. I personally have never been sucked into Facebook, although I did really enjoy the South Park episode that spoofed both Facebook and Tron. I check Facebook mostly to see what people are up to. When I used to work at Wizards, there was a gossip network and if you were within earshot of Mark Rosewater (head Magic designer and former writer for some sitcom I’ll remember later), you were occasionally kept up to date of various goings-on at your company, other companies, and picked up tidbits on what former employees were doing every now and then. Sadly, Mark has been rendered obsolete by modern technology in this area (although it will take many, many years for computers to replace his design skills.)