Monday, April 19, 2010

Playing a "kids game" is awesome!

I've had a few comments lately that Wizard101 is a "kids game." I even got an e-mail that said this

"Friendly, I have this friend who says he is quitting wizard101. He says people tease him because its a 'kids game.'"

Go ahead, look all the way back at my first post I ever made about this game.

"Hi! My name is Thomas Lionblood! I call myself the friendly necromancer and this is my blog about a brand new family-oriented MMORPG called Wizard101."

Wizard101 is a "family-oriented" game, not a kids game, but even at that, I wouldn't care if it was a kids game or not.

Here's the truth of the matter, Kingsisle started creating this game and then the people that worked there started realizing that this game was a game they would like to play themselves. They realized that with this game long-distance relatives could play with their grandkids. They realized that families who were separated by great distances, could still play together. TADA! The family that slays together, stays together. A tremendous amount of good has been done in the world of MMOs because of this game. We class the joint up!

Listen. Why have I written about this game so much and put so much time into talking about this game? It's because I know that out of the trash heap of MMOs out there, this one actually cares about my family. I've played countless games in my life. Countless. But I've NEVER written more about ANY game than this one. Why?


I used to be a big time hardcore raider in other games. They expect you to put in a certain number of hours a week to even stay with the guild. The game mechanics are like manning a console in a big submarine where the stakes are not really that high unless I leave my console. I've had moments where I've had to make a judgement call between saving a raid and addressing a question with my child. Do I want to do that? With Wizard101 I get 30 seconds to a minute or so between each judgement call. It's perfect. I can click and turn to my child. I can talk to them. I can help them. I can even get out of my chair, walk over, grab some milk, click another card, walk down the hallway, hand the milk to a child, come back, click a card, clean up a spill, click a card, continue cleaning up a spill, win the fight, run to a sidewalk, finish what I'm doing and I've been dad while being "Thomas Lionblood."

At the same time, when I'm all alone, I can load up three accounts and do a briskbreeze run by myself and play it as hardcore as I want.

Will people make fun of you for playing this game. yes. This is me not caring: -_- . . . A few of my coworkers in the "world of warcraft" crew love to poke fun at me. That's why when I talked to J Todd Coleman on the phone for an hour, I loved shoving it down their throats. "Guess what, I just talked on the phone with the dude who made Shadowbane, yeah that little game you guys used to play in . . ." Let me tell you how fast they did a 180 about me playing Wizard101. BAM!

I wish I could say that Wizard101 will keep your attention forever and be the last game you'll ever play, but I'd be lying to you, and you'd be lying to yourself. Everyone will quit at some point. Even the Friendly Necromancer. I can't blog about this game forever, but for now . . . TADA! HERE I AM!

If someone makes fun of you for playing this game, it's because they like playing something that feels and looks more "extreme" and keeps their hands and minds constantly busy. You know, the Halo crowd will never get it. This game is an entirely different experience, and there's a good chance they may feel like a complete woosie and be instantly bored. For us, we click a card and we socialize with our friends as we head toward a common goal. We help others do the same. We have fun exploring our world without feeling like we're being hunted with a gun. We are awesome avatars with hundreds of clothing choices with a deadly deck of cards in our hands. This world is both dangerous and light and airy at the same time. There's a lot of layers to the experience.

From the outside looking in, the graphics (outside of Dragonspyre and Grizzleheim) make this look like a kids game, and it started out being that way, but it ended up being much much more. From the inside looking out, this is a new world that most people will never understand unless they try it and allow themselves to "suspend their disbelief." Their game will always be cooler and more extreme and more awesome whatever it is . . . and you should try it, because you may like it. But I'm telling you, you should never forget how awesome Wizard101 made you feel inside when you played it. When you leave it, you should be happy about the time you spent here.


OK, final thought of this long rant: There's more to this life than what game you play. People may make fun of the game you play, but they can't touch what makes you awesome inside.

Happy Dueling!


David Frostcrafter said...

"the halo crowd" i been playing halo since the beginning, definitely a hardcore game, but i still love wizard101, my friends and i have been playing halo since they were giving the game away with an x box, now we all enjoy wizard101 as well.

Kestrel Shadowthistle said...

1. A lot of the reason that W101 is classified as a "kids game" is because of the commercials. They make it look kinda cheesy and are on kids channels.

2. Personally, I think quite a few of the worlds besides DS and GH have amazing graphics. There is a glass wall in the ironworks factory that I always notice, because you can see your reflection and everything moving around you in it. Take a look at the top of Big Ben.

My point being: nobody gives Wizard101 very much or enough credit for being as great as it is, until they've tried it.

Mike said...

People Have told me that kind of thing to. What i do is just ignore them. They have not even played wizard101, they just know there "Too Cool" for that. So I keep playing. BECAUSE WIZARD101 ROCKS!


Kevin BattleBlood said...

In addition to the point about the graphics and genre, KingsIsle wasn't looking to please just one kind of audience or demographic. The visuals--which lack blood-spill, racy outfits/characters, and have a chat with a built-in censor--are some reasons why parents allow* their children to play. But overall, the point is to not judge anything by its appearance.

Imagine this: Instead of a wizard world, the game was put into a science fiction realm and replaced wands with laser weapons, mythological creatures with grotesque aliens and reanimated space corpses, and had a few disfigured bodies lying around on the streets instead of crates, statues, and Bone Cages. There goes the target audience of children and consenting parents, but in rushes a flood of praise, referrals, and interest from the mature audience.

I come from a hardcore gaming background myself, and my favorite game, quite sadly, was one that was not empty of animosity between teammates whenever something went wrong. A vast majority of the gamers, especially experts and sponsored players, had little to no patience for new players. Friends who knew one another in real life would experience some sort of drama at the littlest things during the game. It was even dubbed as "the game that makes Counterstrike players look like angels."

What kept me playing: each game/match was never the same, even if the same monsters/heroes were picked for each team; players who wanted to succeed had to have strong awareness, anticipation, reaction skills, and the ability to adapt and use any situation to their advantage. It was the type of game that was "hard to learn, (virtually) impossible to master."

I have always stayed away from subscription games, save the Game That Shall Not Be Named, but even that product got, at most, 2 months from me. It was pretty cookie-cutter when compared to a lot of the free MMORPGs at the time. I have created a few game-based sites, not to express any interest in the game itself but rather in the pride of a team I was in, or to have some sort of medium between the team and the public.

Being an accountant-in-the-making, I'm very strict towards myself with money; I'm that uptight guy that spends his time thinking about cents per unit before buying the grapes on sale. As soon as I gave Wizard101 a chance, and my adventures led me to the Three Lanes, my credit card was whipped right out of my wallet, and the information sent electronically to a company I never heard of before.

That said, I second your point on this game being made for everyone from casual to passionate gamer, from young to old.

Blaze Silverfist said...

That was beautiful, Friendly!

This really is one of you most inspiring posts (there are a lot.)

I thank you for motivating me to tell more of my friends to try Wiz101 and if any of my friends make fun of me, it's only because they won't give it a chance.

Your blog posts are always so meaningful, even if it's just about albino squirrels (I was going through your first few posts yesterday. Your posts have changed SO much, but they're always hilarious, and awesomesauce. I really see some huge similarities betweens yours and mine. Despite the fact that I'm only 14. XD)

Anyway, thanks for the great post, once again.

Have a great day.

Happy Gaming!

~Your friend, Blaze

Alric Ravensinger said...

I totally agree you shouldn't give a Gobbler's butt what people think I thoroughly enjoy Wizard101 and I'd be considered a Hardcore gamer(Everquest,LOTRO,Elder Scroll,Halo) etc my friends use to make fun of me because I enjoyed this game with another friend my age(I'm 19 btw)and my 2 nephews but I didn't care one of the dearest moments in my life happened to me I was chillin at home while my oldest nephew was over with a bunch of friends I overheard his friends giving him a rough time about wizard101 and my nephew replied "It doesn't matter to me dude I get to play with my Tio everyday" I was so touched (and a little snug) i admit it got the better of me and I said "How many of your guys Tios play games with you?" none of them said anything so you see it doesn't matter what people think as long as you,your friends,and your family have fun together now even some of the friends who had made fun of me play it more then I do

Heather Emeraldflame said...
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Heather Emeraldflame said...
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David said...

I cannot agree more on that whole time during battles thing. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to help out one of my kids in the real world while playing the game. It is nice to have a 30 second buffer in there for each round, plus 30 seconds or so of action between each round. Definitely long enough to handle the real world things while playing... as opposed to going into the unnamed games battlegrounds and having to focus 100% of your energy and time into playing.

TheNiceIceWizard said...

oh wow Friendly. GREAT POST. I love Wizard101 and the Friendliness (not referring to you LOL) in it! It's just so nice! Great job Friendly!

Alex Pixiecatcher said...

Yeah, your absolutely right. It is a family oriented game. People from all ages play on that. Some people are 5 years old, others can be up to 70. It is a great game.

Deathcrafter said...

When I first saw this game on TV I thought only 5 year old's were going to play it, but my cousin(we're both hardcore gamers) showed it to me and I was instantly hooked, even though he only tried it out
I must say between Left 4 Dead 2, Modern Warfare 2, and Gears of war 2 This game is a definite change in the environment and the way you play, I think one of the biggest reasons this game is so awesome is because of the friendly attitudes of all the players(lol friendly necromancer), I mean the people actually care about the game and updates and problematic bugs and etc...

Wolf MoonSinger said...

You know Friendly, I'm 38 years old. I have no kids and I've never been married. (Maybe one day when i'm old enough. =))

Anyhow, I have some difficulty with my eyes, and many of the games on the market make it impossible for me to play because there's too much visual information for my eyes to process.

As a result I really enjoy turned based games like W101.

But I'm also a HUGE plot junkie, so it's not enough for a game simply to be turned based. It also has to keep my mind (and frankly my heart) engaged with it.

So maybe this game was designed with kids in mind, but let's just say if that's the case, I'm awfully glad I never grew up! =)

Sarai Moonwhisper said...

What other game can you play with your daughter AND your mom?

Yep, we have three generations in my house playing Wizard :)

I also have my cousin and brother-in-law. Now if I could just get my grandma involved...

Cody Shadowstrider said...

I'm more of an "in the crowd" guy, but no one really ever makes fun of me for playing W101. But as Kestrel said, they make it kinda cheesy on the commercials.

-Cody Shadowstrider

PS You didnt reply to the comment on the last post so i just wanted to make sure that that time was ok with you.

Wolf Winterstaff said...

My personal philosophy is: Youth is fleeting, but immaturity is forever. If you enjoy something, enjoy it and to heck with what others say.

Wingozilly said...

I'm really happy you mentioned this. The ONLY reason why they make this cheesy and childish is to get children to play and also might bring along parents. As a family, it is not only a fun MMO to play, but saves your time. I am a teen, I'm a bored guy, but Wizard101 is my favorite pastime activity. Surely, I do other things but this is just for entertainment. Thanks again, Friendly :D

P.D. (Luke Goldhorn) said...

Awww, FN, that was so nice! I've been wondering the same question, why do people make fun of me cause I play W101? Everyone who knows in my high school and even my dad and my sister make fun of me. I tried to get my mom to play, but she says shes too busy. I really think they just have to try it for themselves to get its awesomeness!

ZacMan said...

This is SO not a kids game dude! I mean, its a awesome game for any age at all! why should it just be kids?!?! - Richard ShadowStaff - level 25 adept wizard. P.s. I love your blog

Iridian Bluebreeze said...

Like all the other's have stated, who cares what other people say. I enjoy the game tremendesly, I would even like to get a t-shirt to show off just how much I enjoy and support this game.

I started it for my daughter, who just turned eight. It is a little to advanced for her, there is so much to this game that I do not think people realize. The quests, side quests, crafting, farming, selling, buying and PVP.

My biggest and greatest boost to playing this game, is the friends that I have made (which by the way are mostly adults with kids)....
We have such a great time playing and the laughs never stop, it really helps me forgot about my day, especially if I have had a bad day at work. lol.

I would like to personally thank Kingsisle for allowing me to make such great friends, while playing a great game....

RainbowFirebird said...

I think that people think W101 is a "kids game" because it lacks the gore and under-dressed characters that so many sites contain. I think that's great. How many sites do you know that manage to make zombies appropriate (ghouls, rotting fodders, etc)?! I mean yeah, their eyes kinda creep me out, but they're not like missing an arm, or you can see their brain or whatever. The only violence is that some enemies carry weapons like knives, but it is without spilling blood that they stab you :-)
People might also think it's a "kids game" because, as Kestrel said, the commercials do make it look way cheesier than it is. They don't even show any epic spells besides Hydra, and I thought that was an enemy when I first saw it!

Plus, people who make fun of you for playing W101 either don't understand its awesomeness, or they're just jealous, 'cuz you found it before them. It's not your problem if they're missing out on living virtual life to its fullest. :-)