Monday, October 23, 2006


I get asked one question a lot. Not just by some of my readers, but also by people I know in real life.

That question is "Why do you play this game?"

They always say the same things. The game doesn't have an ending, there's no way to ever finish, there's no sense of accomplishment.

People who say this just don't understand this game. Most of them haven't even played it and are just trying to wrap their heads around it.

The point of this game is not about getting to a finish line. There's no ribbon somewhere you run across and the game goes "Good Job!" and sends you on your merry.

It's true that the game really doesn't have an end. But that's one of the best things about it.

The story never really ends. Rather than a simple, one shot storyline to follow, FFXI is woven from countless stories and quests. There is always something else to see, something else to do.

And no accomplishment? No accomplishment?

Every other minute in this game, you're treated to a major sense of accomplishment.

Every time you hit a new level, your heart jumps a little. Everytime you fight an enemy and then beat him, your body cheers a little.

Even the most frustrating things give way to satisfaction. Having to farm or camp for an item makes it all the sweeter when you finally get it.

Sure, it sucks having to wait for groups or try and camp for good items. But that's part of the challenge.

I'm sorry, but if you need someone to hand you everything on a silver platter, we probably don't care about your opinion either way.

This game is about more than just winning. It's about trying new things and reaching new levels.

It's about getting to the next place or the next story, the next quest or the next mission.

It's about being part of a game rather than just playing it.

FFXI has never been about being a game for everyone. It wasn't designed so you could just pick it up and finish it in a week or two.

Instead, they created an actual world that can be explored and experienced. A world without limit and practically without end.

If you're looking at FFXI as a simple video game, you're never going to understand it. We play this game for the sheer depth of it, not some silly finish line or game over screen.

You ask us why we play this game?

We play it because it is about more than just trying to find an end to it. It's about more than a score. It's about more than a level.

It's about more.

I'm sorry if you don't get that. I really am.


At 8:47 PM, Blogger hello fodder said...

Very eloquent you are, when you turn to serious prose, sir.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Shadow said...

The fact that an entire world exists digitally is an amazing thing, and it's no wonder some people get lost in it. There they have status, money, friends, and so on.

And now governments are considering finding ways to tax digital money, especially when it can be exchanged in some way for actual currency.

Yet another way RMTards are ruining it for us....

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Jess said...

*waves a lighter in the air*

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Anharat said...

I do belive, that was one of my most liked posts. /cheer

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

in other words, it's the life you always wanted but never had.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Ryuusuke said...

wow that was a very deep post very different but very good and true

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Jed said...

There is no way thats Dave. Not one Jormy, tard, ban or swear in it? No way.
Other news: Kinda sad that the people this was written for won't understand this either.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Knyte said...

only two words can describe this post:

||True Stike||

side note: i finally remembered my blogger account info, yay.

i must say though dave, that this doesnt apply to just FFXI but to all games.

games (in general, console or otherwise)provide a world apart from our own; where we can escape the every day grind and emerse ourselves into a world of simplistic fantasy to help ease the stress of our fragile minds.

in this virtual world, there are no bastard supervisors/bosses, no nagging relatives, no bitchy girlfriends. all there is, is you and an adventure.

however there are those that so emersed in these worlds that they trap themselves in them, never wanting to leave and live in reality...a pity actually

At 1:40 AM, Blogger Sutaru said...

I'm pleasantly surprised at the sincere change in tone. This post wasn't as entertaining as most, but it was incredibly well written and it held a lot of voice. Right now, I've only just started playing, so I haven't even begun to expirience the game yet, I'm sure, but you are right about the world, its value and players' purpose for playing.

At 1:47 AM, Blogger shingui of cerberus said...

Jeff said...
in other words, it's the life you always wanted but never had.

Well thats the purpose of a fantasy game

To escape from all the real life problems and go and beat on a bunny(if you do that in real life you will be considerred insane)

At 2:24 AM, Blogger Cyberdragon said...

Well put. I fear that those who understand your post are probably not the ones that need to be told, but it was very eloquent. You sir have a bards tongue.
/salute Dave

At 2:44 AM, Blogger Shinkada said...

That's odd... If I were to ask 'Why do you play FFXI?' it'd be because of generalizations based on other MMOs such as EQ2 and WoW. But I've never played FFXI (and won't simply because of the rest of the FF franchise) so I can't really comment. But anyone who doesn't understand MMOs because of a lack of a Game Over screen is... Well, their price on Jormy's menu should be lowered.

At 4:08 AM, Blogger WindexHamster said...


At 5:29 AM, Blogger StealthBomber said...


At 5:55 AM, Blogger Bellemithra said...

Fave post!

At 6:49 AM, Blogger robustyoungsoul said...

Nobody got fed to Jorny?


At 6:52 AM, Blogger Seranos said...


At 6:57 AM, Blogger Berto said...

I've read all your posts and I've enjoyed every one of them. This blog is one of the few places I actually bookmark because I enjoy reading the updates.

But this is the one entry I felt compelled to actually post a comment on.

You have put together the words I have always wanted to say when I am asked the same question.
Non-MMOers just don't (and possibly won't ever) understand that this isn't just a game. They think that just because you play around killing monsters in some flashy armor, they consider it just a game.

I've wanted to grab everyone of their jugulars with my fingernails and rip out their throats so they never speak again.

I'm glad you posted this...I think I'm gonna print this out and hang it on the wall or something.

At 6:57 AM, Blogger token black guy said...

fa sho! da pimpin life def be gettin mad azz strezzful! it helps to fuhget abowt bustin caps n slappin hoz fo a bit and pay some final fantapimp nahmeen??! holla back if u fillin' me!! wesside!!

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Dantaro said...

(True Strike)

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Aakawolf said...

Hell, *I* don't play MMORPGS (although I have oft been tempted), and I STILL understand.

Then again, that may be due to my raised-from-birth-gamer heritage, with my first memories that of my Atari controller in my hands, and a frequent fond family bonding experience of D&D long into the night and wee hours of the morning. "What's the point?", people would ask of us, sitting around our living room tablewith dice and charts (and thank ye gods the online RPG world came around such that I don't have to look up everything on a damned chart). "How do you win?" Um... you don't, really... but I just beat a red dragon and got sent to the Astral Plane for being a dumbass and picking up a big glowy stone in his hoarde!

I imagine it is much the same. You don't "win" in life, there is no finish line, except death, and luckily in FFOnline there's a handy solution to that. To ask what the point is is akin to asking what the point is to being alive, and it saddens me to think a lot of people may not actually understand even that simple truth: there is no "point" to life, other than to bloody well live it.

Now, granted, online gaming, D&D and real life aren't actually that interwoven nor that similar, lest I cross that thin ine between distinguishing reality and fantasy, but the likeness is there, as is the point I'm trying to make. In short, people who ask "what's the point" to a game without end must lead very sad, frustrating lives. Life can be seen as a game without end, and if one thinks that once they have a house, car, marriage, and steady job they've "won", they're going to be sorely disappointed.

Journey, not destination, all that Zen stuff.

I've blathered long enough. I'm sorry you felt you had to answer that question, [GM]Dave. And I'm sorry people asked it of you. You are eloquent, sir. Don't let the plebiens get you down.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Ichiroson said...

my friends just asked me this the other day..
"wow you've been playing for how long ?!?!? dont you get bored ?! etc." thank you [GM]Dave-sama for giving me a good answer

and on a side note : can someone put token black guy out of his (and our) misery ? it saddens me that someone is trying so hard to stand out when its obvious that after reading that one post about that one guy "be theiven yo cheddar etc." no one types like that, not even the people who speak like that. and people who do speak like that need to be hit very hard in the head with a shovel (maybe even a second time). every time i read one of his comments that makes absolutly no sence, i slip into a slight coma.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Drescher the Great said...

Beautifully said, [GM]Dave. /salute

At 10:35 AM, Blogger LizHellsing said...

I totally agree with what you just said.. some people just do not understand why we all play mmo's it'goes way beyond a simple game..

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Argentos of Windurst said...

A lot of people (re: kids and idiots, often one and the same) need instant gratification. That's why they're never content with FFXI and retreat back to their console titles (or WoW). I'd like to see some of those same impatient people try to play EVE Online. That's a whine-fest waiting to happen.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. While I cannot play FFXI myself (I run entirely on Macs, due to my job, and haven't yet been able to justify an Intel Mac), I do understand why people play. Having to explain it to non-mmorpg games, and especially to non-gamers in general, has always been a hassle.

How do you shorten a description of life? You cannot, just as you cannot sum up any good mmorpg in a few short sentences.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Adventure Dood said...

Very well put, sir. It's a bit preachy for your style, but the fact that you can go from being such a loose cannon to being so serious, thoughtful and analytical really gives this particular update more power. I know you as a being of wrath and intolerance, but for one of the first times, you've illuminated WHY you are moved to display such malice... you see the world of vanadiel itself as a great place, and therefore you will stand in the way of those that abuse or tarnish its greatness. I really like it, as you may have already figured. You should do stuff like this more often... but not too often. Don't get soft on me.

on a different note...

Ichiroson said...
"people who do speak like that need to be hit very hard in the head with a shovel (maybe even a second time)"

how do you think he started talking like that in the first place? I don't think serious head trauma is a good way to fix a mental condition that was likely the RESULT of serious head trauma. But yes, get that idiot out of here. Word fo' rizzle yo kracka homes dawg werd upppp.

At 4:12 PM, Blogger TrueStoryGuy said...

Just the other day, I quoted WOW of being the game to just "Get to level 60 and get the best armor." and then I quoted FFXI as "... To just finish the storyline." and then WOW people asked "There's a storyline?!"

And a continuation of Warcraft III's storyline isn't a "storyline".

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Kittos said...

:) so very true

At 6:04 PM, Blogger Canadibrit said...

I think it's a mark of the people I hang out with that I have never been asked this question. Then again, most of my friends play tabletop RP so a 'game over' screen isn't something that occurs to most of them.

Still, if I ever lose my mind completely and try to explain the point of FFXI to my work colleagues, I now have an answer. Thank you, [GM]Dave, for the deep post as well as the months of Jormy-related entertainment.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger vandemonde said...

"To the journey"


This is why I love Vana'Diel it's the kind of world where one such as me (perpetual clown and a fierce Newblet) and a personage such as the wonderful [GM]Dave and similar types of gamers can get along.

I'm here to enjoy my experience, MY journey but I'll do my best to respect your journey.

Even help you if needed, that's a part of OUR journey together.

(even if it's a foul thing of darkness and malicious intent)

(you know who you are)

(yeah, you.)

kidding! >:)
Love, Hugs and kill a Mob for ME! =^.^=

At 12:36 AM, Blogger Rogue said...

Omg dude you are truly a poet!!!!

At 2:02 AM, Blogger bery said...

It's hard to explain the unexplainable... 'Why is water wet?', you may as well ask.

FFXI stands alone in it's uniqueness. You can take short breaks from time to time, but it's always there for you, beckoning, calling to experience new and exciting things.

I tried WoW when it first came out 2 years ago. Played for 3 weeks, scrapped it.

/salute, [GM]Dave Your words echo in my soul :)

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Hyperbola said...

Dave, you rock. You speak for all us MMORPG players, not just FF.

And it's sad that there's even some MMORPG players that just don't GET that and still treat the games like Grand Theft Auto. That's why there's such evils as bots & kama-sellers, I think -- catering to players that don't "get" the concept of the game & just want to get to what they see is the "end", without realizing that the journey is the important part.

And from his posts, you guys know "token black guy" is likely some retarded 12 year old white-middleclass-gangsta-wannabe who believes that MTV is real ... aka "Jormy-fodder".

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Kaludnei said...


At 6:44 AM, Blogger Fircefairy said...

Very well said. I have had friends quit the game because of real life issues,but admitted that they were not "done" accomplishing in game goals.
Some felt like they were finished when they reached level 75 and could not complete certain quests,yet claimed they were just bored.
Another great thing about FFXI is making friends.
I have met many In real life,and we speak often on the phone.
We share the same Game world...therefor we understand what each other is saying...without a long litany of explanations that bore other people who have never tried the game.
We...those of us that play....know WHY we play...and eplaining it to someone else is often futile.

They want to *beat* the game and when learning you Can NOT...they are disdainful and easily bored.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger token black guy said...

damn nikkaz!!! you hate like woah! i try n show sum luv 'n' respeck to da GM and u juz hate hate hate! errtime i say i repeck hiz azz ya'll cum out wit dat "oh he wack! oh he st00pid! oh mah brainz is falling owt!" str8 up hatin' yo! white people... *nods head* damn shame yo

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Cockenaden said...

amen dude, amen

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Idalia said...

yeah, but it takes away from real life.

when it comes down to it, the accomplishments, which feel so good at the time, just don't mean a thing later on...

suddenly, it's not so much fun anymore.


look, ffxi is great. i loved playing it. but to anyone who says the warning in the beginning before you log in is just a joke, for many of xi's players is reality.

i don't even think some of the hardcore players can tell the difference between fantasy and reality. forums tell it best when imaginary jobs and crafting and races are beaten down by harsher words than many could imagine. and then those comments are backed up simply because it's the internet.

"hey, you came to this forum, you should've expected to be called a faggot noob for playing so and so job and lvling so and so craft. it's the internet you moron"

(and yes, this was a ligit reason to a comment made on xi game play)

because you play a MMO game, especially those on xi, you're suddenly better than everyone else?

it's sad the arguements people get into over a non existant world.

the game, for me in the beginning, was about playing. but people ruined it.. plain and simple. it's the reason i left, and it's the reason i've stayed away.

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At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. Extremely well-stated.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger dwyane said...

...beautiful just beautiful.

like someone said before 'its like a life we wanted but never had' for me in anyways.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Sierra said...

Beautiful. *claps* :]


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