MMO Gamers are Addicts – Financial Analysts are Irresponsible Idiots

From Game Politics: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/02/02/pachter-mmo-gamers-are-addicts

Game Politics is reporting that financial analyst Michael Pachter has stereotyped MMO players as addicts. From the Reuters article:

"I don’t think (online multiplayer games) get impacted at all, because people who play them are addicts," said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan. "Losing their jobs makes them more likely to play because they have more time to play."

To be fair, Pachter was suggesting that MMOG’s are more likely to weather the current financial crisis because the people who play them are addicts, and that losing a job is more likely to give a player more time in the game.

Come on Michael, your prejudice is showing here a little don’t you think?

The first thing to say; Yep, there are some MMOG players who are ‘addicts’ (even though I don’t agree with that term, but that’s another post.) These players have trouble putting the game away for real life issues like jobs and relationships. They are however, in the minority. Most players live perfectly normal lives and are about addicted to MMOG’s as Petrol-Heads are to their hotted up cars, or dog fanciers are to showing their dogs.

To generalize all MMOG players as addicts is about the same as saying that all Financial Analysts are irresponsible idiots for getting the world into such dire financial condition. I’m sure there are four or five Financial Analysts who had nothing to do with the current Financial Crisis.

Perhaps the reason that MMO Games will survive the Financial Crisis, and I’m betting that a few of them won’t anyway, is that they provide incredibly cheap entertainment. Fifteen US dollars a month for a subscription MMOG works out to about fifty cents a day. Go to the movies or rent a DVD a few times a month, and you’ll exceed the cost of a MMOG easily. Try going out to dinner for fifteen quid. Unless it’s Macca’s, you’ll probably be hit up for twice the subscription fee.

Free to play MMOG’s fit even better into a tight budget, unless you go overboard buying all the micro-transaction stuff of course. A F2P costs only as much as you want it to cost. Of course you might have some restrictions on places you can go in-game with that sort of model, but it’s still your choice to pay or not. Choice is nice.

Along with being cheap, these games are also social. Unless a player completely ignores the other players in a MMOG, they are going to have some interaction. And even if they do ignore the others around them, they are still in a social situation. Sort of like standing around in a crowded place, there’s activity all around. There’s the opportunity to interact with other human beings. Perhaps it not a traditional human interaction, but it’s interaction nonetheless.

So rather than acknowledging the unique aspect of these games, cheap social entertainment, Pachter simply states that it’s addicted players and not the games themselves that will see the developers through the crisis.

Way to stereotype Michael.

4 Comments

  1. Pitrelli

    I think the term addiction is overused. I play WoW most if not every night at somepoint however while i play WoW my flatmate watches the TV. Are we both addicted? Id say we are both doing what we want to do with our free time. This guys opinion isnt going to make me change my routines, I will continue to do what I enjoy. And as you say the social aspect appeals to me because I get to keep in touch with my friends from my old home town who i dont get to see as often as I like

  2. Ysharros

    Are the people who sit in front of their TVs 4 hours a night watching American Idol and Dog the Bounty Hunter addicts? They sure seem like it from where I’m standing. Or would, if I could unglue my nose from my MMO long enough. Sorry, gotta go, my dealer’s on the way.

    /sigh

  3. Stropp (Post author)

    Exactly. And who is to say that one use of time, dare I say time-waster, is better than another? Just because someone want to spend x evenings a week watching Dog the Bounty Hunter (I’ve seen the ads… /shudder), or playing whatever sort of game, or even turning it all off and reading a book… who’s to say which is better for someone else?

  4. Allen

    The term addiction is lame. We get hours of entertainment whenever we want for 15 bucks a month. Not just any entertainment either interactive entertainment. At least with MMO’s you control the action and your not sitting there staring at a TV screen like a mindless zombie for hours. Its normal to watch TV for hours a day, but playing games for hours makes you an addict? Games are the entertainment of the future in my opinion. Why watch a movie when games are getting to the point where its like playing a starring role in a movie?

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