In yesterday’s column I discussed the surprise that Warcraft really doesn’t have any in-game references to the Seven Deadly Sins. There are a couple of weapons (Greed, for example, drops from Mal’Ganis in Culling of Stratholme), but no NPC’s or bosses. Today, let’s take a look at how the concept of each sin keeps players coming back for more in Azeroth.
- Lust – Ok, so perhaps not in a sexual nature, but there is the view that extravagance is an extension of lust, and with that in mind whether it’s achievements, pets, mounts, Arena Victories, or simply just gear, players lust after things to the point of near obsession. In fact, damage meters might be the pinnacle of examples.
- Greed – You could really make the argument that Greed and Lust go hand in hand when one removes the sexual context of Lust, and that’s very well true. While there are many wonderful people in the game, there are equally as many ninjas, elitists, and quite frankly jerks who will stop at nothing to get the best gear or rare item/mount at your expense. Any alleged reason other than Greed is a farce.
- Gluttony – Refraining from a joke about the stereotypical gamer, there is a genuine concern in society that we spend too much time submerging ourselves within the realm of Azeroth. Sure, there’s a load screen suggesting that things be taken in moderation, but I know people who didn’t sleep until they hit 85 and other folks who’ll happily skip eating because they’re too busy raiding. I think Warcraft overindulgence is rare, but it does happen in the game. Again, what’s offered to players is so vast that it’s very easy to get caught up in it to the point where it could be a problem for some.
- Sloth – Remember the folks who didn’t sleep until 85? Well, what about the individuals who ditch social networks, school, work, or even family because they’re happily sitting around playing a game? Yes, Warcraft takes some skill, but again you can be consumed by the game to the point of utter laziness and Acedia.
- Wrath – NERDRAGE!!!! Seriously, every one of us has gotten frustrated at something at some point in-game. Heck, I remember nearly snapping on someone when I died because they had some difficulty clicking the Polymorph spell. Immature, I admit. But if I’m going to call people out for something, there’s nothing wrong with using myself as an example.
- Envy – See the first two sins for how this works. You ever see a piece of gear or a mount or pet that someone has that you’ve not seen before? If you don’t Google it, what’s the first thing you do? “Oooh, where’d you get that?” There’s competition in-guild alone just to do new raid content and when someone goes and you don’t, there’s easily a level of envy because you want to be in there experiencing it with the rest of your friends/guildies. This is the biggest sin the game exploits (again, unintentionally). Most of that is human nature: we want what others have.
- Pride – Being the World First at anything carries a title with it. Downing a boss, or topping the dps charts in a 25-man raid. Taming that elusive rare with your Hunter. So many things to be proud of when you accomplish them. In fact, much of the achievement system is based solely around such an emotion. Nothing wrong with having Pride, but Trade elitists take it to the point of being a sin, absolutely.
Now, in discussing all of this, I’m certainly not targeting Blizzard directly. Video game companies make their money off human nature and human nature says we fall victim to these emotions/sins constantly (as a general society, rather than individually per se). So, companies include mechanics that target these aspects in an effort to increase profit by drawing in more players.
I include myself in the player list, but don’t point my finger at you. You know if you fit in here or not. If you do? Not a big deal really. Just thought it made for some interesting food for thought after yesterday’s topic and changes up the material around here for a change.