Posted by: shatteredblog | May 17, 2010

MOG Issue #25 reboot

The new issue of Beckett Massive Online Gamer came in the mail last week, and this issue seems to mark a change in style for the mag. A new layout, new contents page and some ‘interesting’ new article topics. I don’t like it, and I felt like telling you why.

The new layout includes alot of blood splatter. I mean, alot of blood splatter. Maybe it’s meant to look mature or edgy, or to reflect the ‘graphic’ nature of modern gaming. Maybe the layout person has been playing too much Dragon Age and didn’t let Dog clean off the magazine after the last battle. It’s unnecessary though, and it looks out of place. This is the title graphic from an interview with Aion producer Chris Hager, but the content of the interview certainly doesn’t justify the gore in the title.

I want to give some credit to them for running another installment of their Top 20 Influential People in MMOs, which has become a yearly thing and includes alot of insight into who is driving development and design of the games we love to play. But in the issue too is this stinker, written by “The MOG Staff” that calls the MMO audience (and by extension the MOG audience) “young socially-awkward males.” Sex may sell, but give your readers some credit and don’t badmouth them to their faces. Running an article like this brings down any credibility they may have gained from their Influential People list in my eyes.

The most disgusting article to me in the magazine though is the one that was lead with on the cover. Kill ‘Em All appears to be a new feature where we’re given instructions on how to ‘gank’ in WoW. The article is meant to be a guide to PvP, but this is the worst kind… the humiliate the other player into quitting the game kind. In the article we’re told of the authors exploits such as getting someone to “transfer off the server. No lie” and in a large infographic “camped this hunter once, killing him eight times over 20 minutes.” His advice for getting kills includes such rotting grapefruit as “I’ve swooped down and jumped people who were fishing for hours. Not only do they trade out their gear for fishing gear, but if you’re quick they’ll never rez  with enough time to swap gear back before another corpse run” and “don’t forget to screenshot every win and laugh at every victim. I do.” It’s a disgusting read and it really upsets me.

What my biggest problem is I guess is that it feels like the MOG staff seems to have lost sight of what makes MMOs great. By encouraging sexism and exploitative pvp they cater to the lowest denominator and ignore what keeps people coming back, which is the community and the friends we make. Perhaps the time is ripe for a new magazine that focuses on community building and social dynamics of gaming rather than one that seems to be moving toward what makes online gaming frustrating and perilous.

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Responses

  1. I guess this is the new “edginess” Stargrace was talking about. MMOs not as fun for the family, but as just fun for the hormone-addled teenage boys they see as their readers.

  2. And by the way, humiliating other people into quitting the game gets you cred in WoW. I haven’t played my priest in a PUG since the last time where I was humiliated and taunted and was forced to leave. I didn’t play WoW for weeks after that.

  3. Horrible. The reason I did not immediately pick up Dragon Age was btw exactly the blood splatter. It usually indicates the game has the depth of a blood puddle. And no, I do not mean knee-deep… 🙂

    I often wonder if there is a new generation of MMO gamer. Is it like that? Then they are not a new generation I simply do not understand, then they are dimwits. Or Beckett’s staff, to some extent. I still do not want to believe players are like that, except the very very young and not additionally not so very bright ones.

    Games do not influence society as much (German politicians are still often afraid of “killer games” turning the youth into monsters) but are a mirror of society.

    Modern Warfare 2 and terrorism at the airport, blood splatter, dark and sinister themes – why must Beckett add immaturity on top of that crap?

    Seems they are struggling, but I doubt this is the way to get back customers. Superficial readership does not form a reliable subscriber core.

  4. So the immature griefer demographic has gotten so large and influential that they get their own magazine. And being annoying, they have stolen ours, instead of getting their own.

  5. I thought the gaming industry had made some progress towards moving AWAY from these kind of lame stereotypes. Why the hell would anyone labor this hard to bring them back?

  6. It is as if they’ve decided to encourage the very behaviour that destroys MMOs.

    It’s like a fishing magazine running a series on how to poison all the fish in a lake.


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