This article was written by Sire Teige, who can be contacted via email at sire_teige AT hotmail.com
Theory 1 Players will enjoy causing emotional distress There will be a subset of players who find the pain they cause to be the ultimate reward. They will risk gold, levels, and even their account to cause grief. Never underestimate people's lack of conscience.
I bet that leaks water well.
Theory 2 Players will hack the client Assume the client is open source. No amount of obfuscation, encryption, or updates will protect it. Third party programs will be written to look at every internal variable, send illegitimate data packets, and offer any possible advantage.
Theory 3 Players will exploit every option If mages are weaker short term and better in the long term, players will vouch for the long term. They will mindlessly fish for hours if it has a better pay-off than more fun pursuits. They will buy multiple accounts and macro gold. They will check every hole and crack like water in a sieve.
Theory 4 Players will hate the game Yet they will play it endlessly, often more than those who claim to like it. They will like the designers even less, considering them the Spawn of Satan. People who volunteer their time to help the community will thus be considered in league with the Devil, and treated accordingly.
Theory 5 Players will not do (or want) what is in their best interest Believing players to have common sense, intelligence, or other such virtue is dangerous. Even assuming players understand the phrase "this is a game" is a gross overestimation of their mental skills. No appeals to common sense should be expected to yield much fruit, as players manifest a Lemmings mentality that is nearly unrivaled.
Theory 6 Players expect updates in direct proportion to the number given The more updates that are generated, the more players want more of the same. The world can never have enough options, land mass, spidergoats, super powers, or challenges. As a corollary, the less their expectations are met, the more hateful they become.
Theory 7 Players will dislike every new change Players always want things to remain as they were. Such activities (nerfing) destroy the "old school," caters to newbie players (carebears), and makes the game less fun. Players will know the Developers are "selling out," and will respond. Despite the continued degradation of the game, the user base will increase. Do not be deceived by these figures.
Theory 8 Players will always demand justice, and organize themselves to get it They will be certain to point out the crimes of the Developers, other players, the publishing company, fan sites, internet lag, and so forth. They have a strong sense of fairness, and will in every avenue demand that it be enforced. They require freedom of speech (in the fullest interpretation) and action, and demand that the game world be democratic. Afterall, every player wants their voice to be heard, and to be considered valid. Thus can they fight for justice.
Theory 9 Players will claim they own pieces of the game No EULA will convince them otherwise. Despite that the world they claim a piece of is simply magnetic spots on a metallic disk hundreds of miles away, and is owned by someone else who never gave anyone permission to own those magnetic marks.
Any good scientific theory creates predictions. Hence what follows are a set of predictions which are derived from the above theories:
-Players will refuse to be helpful. Being helpful implies working with the Spawns of Satan. In addition, that would require them working in their best interests. Hence, being helpful is avoided at all cost.
-Players will not use, often on purpose, correct English. Those who can will refuse to, the rest (and the majority) simply lack the skill. This relates to laws 1, 4, 5. The confusion they create is a vent for their hatred. This may explain players' fascination with the phrases "All your base are belong to us," and "for great justice."
-Players will hack other players. Relating to 2 and 3, they will offer cheats that hurt other players. Such things, being illegal, are also against their own best interests and is possibly the worst method of increasing their online property.
-The more detrimental a game is to a player's real life, the more successful the game is. Hence the term Evercrack, a term used by players who are overly successful in developing their online property.
-Players enjoy assaulting evil. This is evident by the fact that they pay money so that something they hate can grow. Updates are released, more players hate it, and more players arrive to cause justice. They polarize themselves against the game. The more polarized they are against the game, the quicker the game itself grows, and hence the quicker the evil grows. Evil, being by definition against a player's best interest, is thus spawned by the players.
-Players will be vocal. Since they hate the game, and they want justice against that hatred (which is well placed), they will cause the game as much grief as possible. The easiest way is by yelling all manner of phrases (which are unintelligent, due to the above law). Such activities are of course not in their best interest.
-Players are sadists. Despite being evil, players will demand more updates to the game, which assists its growth.
-Players will abuse bugs. Doing so hurts other players, often results in the loss of their account, and causes more frequent game updates. Players will of course dislike these changes, since it prevents their own self destruction (via banned accounts).
-Players will hate any game that shuts down. Such an act is defined as any company that universally and permanently steals every player's online property. Oddly enough, the theories also predict that such an act would be in the player's best interest.
-There should be an anti-player, that is, someone who is similar to a player yet exhibits opposite properties. This is similar to matter and antimatter in physics. These anti-players, also called people, would be intelligent, pursue their best interests, have a productive real life, and be only moderately active in the game, help the community, and associate with the Devil. Despite this prediction they would be hard to be proven to exist, since they are by definition be less vocal and are not overly active within the game ("real life" requirements limit their time in the game). It is also unclear as to whether they do not demand justice (are lax or uncaring), or whether their definition of justice is different. Many consider the discovery of people within a game to be strong evidence that this collective theory (all the above rules) to be correct. Many eager souls await this discovery.
Undoubtedly, there are more predictions that can be made. The world of players is still under study, and theories are being revised to create more accurate predictions. This is truly an exciting time for those interested.
June 2001 Imaginary Realities, the magazine of your mind.
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