Saturday, October 17, 2009

MMO-ing stole my writing life

All of my late-night blogging time of late has been spent playing Free Realms – a family-friendly MMO. That's right, I've broken my first commandment: Thou Shalt Not MMO.

Free Realms is free to play and is full of free-wheeling adventure. There are quest lines to follow, but only if you want to. You can just as easily hang out in the middle of town or pursue random errands offered by the world's NPCs. And that's the big win here: there's something for everyone.

There are nine jobs you can choose for your character, and you can jump freely between them (no cross-class penalties here!). That lets you find your gaming niche, whether you like racing games, combat, puzzle games, or exploration. They're all here. You can even play as a Card Duelist. So yes, this is a computer game where you play a character who plays a collectible card game - talk about reaching the next level! And if you decide to become a paying member, you get access to even more jobs.

The other thing I like is that it's a family friendly game. I can let my wife and kids play too. (I haven't been able to lure them in yet – they're all still playing Club Penguin.)

I'm sure that a lot of you wannabe gamers out there – the kind who play your games on a computer – might scoff at a family friendly game, because it definitely caters to kids and girls. Most of their 5 million registered members are under 18. And while it might not be the go-to game for Suicide Girls, having a 33% female membership is considered very high in the gaming industry. Personally, I'd LIKE to have an online game where I can hang out with my kids, my wife, and online friends who maybe aren't into hardcore rocking like Jack Black, at least, not all the time.

There is one problem that I'm having with Free Realms: it's fun. If I play much more, I’m going to have to buy some Station Cash. See, there are two forms of currency in the game: coins and Station Cash. Coins are the treasure you accumulate from doing stuff. They're used for buying basic supplies and some other stuff. But all the coolest gear can only be purchased with Station Cash and you get that by spending real money. Mind you, the conversion rate is pretty good. And it's a nice way to support the game without a membership subscription. But as I said, if I'm going to keep playing, I'll have to spend money. My character needs the superhero mask and a pet dog. And a mask for the dog. And the electric knife would make me a much better chef. And I'll need a Halloween costume VERY soon!

So Free Realms is my first MMO. And I need some support. If you're into this new-fangled trend of playing games on computers, give it a try and we can hangout. In the meantime, what was your first MMO, and what do you play now?

Now reading: Weird Tales #350 (I'm a few issues behind)


  1. I'm not into the MMO games. I tried WoW for a week, but it didn't do much for me. 3 reasons-1. I know I could get addicted to it if I really put time into the games, 2. I saw MMOs ruin a good friends marriage, and 3. I'd rather play at a table with other people than interact with them over a computer. I look at a computer all day, i don't want to move my gaming to a computer as well.

  2. A. That's four reasons, Mr. Librarian. Good thing Cthulhu doesn't count on you for doing his non-Euclidean, geometric calculus homework.

    B. I agree with all four of your three points. In fact, I couldn't have summed it up that well at all. Thank you.