GUEST BLOG: This week we will be having a guest blog from Amanda Murphy. I met Amanda through Twitter, somewhat randomly. But, I enjoyed her blog very much and I’m glad to say she could share some insight here! Without further adeau, here you go!
A long, long time ago in a time where Mountain Dew only came in one flavour, and Bawls was just a sparkle in some guy’s eye, there were nerds. I’m talking long before ThinkGeek and J!nx. These were the traditional creatures; all-male,-coke-bottle-glasses,-acne-and-suspenders, three-wolf-moon-shirt type nerds. The nerds that get shoved into lockers, wedgied, and were an eyesore to all they met. Then through the magic of contacts and Proactiv, these nerds evolved into a more socially acceptable breed, some species even included women *hold for gasps*.
Now, we see nerds as highly camouflaged; E-thug’s hiding out in the back of web forums (because talking shit is dangerous in real life), disguising themselves as someone who has kissed someone other then their great Aunt Marg, when in actuality they are still nerds. Most nerds even have boyfriends or girlfriends now… or both (who am I to judge, really?). The point is that nerds have evolved once more to good looking men and women of all living conditions (parents basement or their own), and quite possibly with a social life of sorts and even a job or two.
The reason I bring this up is to explain that with the onslaught of nerd games available, even someone as cool and good looking as YOU can be labelled a nerd. Now I know what you’re thinking, “that would never be me”… Or would it??!!11@1? I know some of you have thought about it. But if you do decide to get your feet wet into the Code Red sweet embrace of nerdom, I wanted to make sure you’re educated, get the right information, and make the decision for yourself, you smooth operator, you. I’ll be pitting up two of the most infamous nerd games ever: Second Life by Linden Labs, and World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.
The first game we will look at is Second Life by Linden Labs… Oops, I just called it a game. That’s your first mistake, call this a game, and you will be virtually beaten to death by fanatics who will explain to you that Second Life is a whole other life. A… second life, if you will. It’s basically a huge world that is created, maintained, and policed by other nerds like you. They spend 8 hours making a virtual guitar, 3 hours searching for one outfit, and 15 hours trying to get the hell off of the noob orientation tutorial island. Get this; they have their own fake currency, kind of like Canada only its worth more in real life. They’re called Linden dollars, and a bunch of them is equal to one real American dollar, which means you can buy Linden dollars with real money to buy fake crap in the world. Confused? Tell me about it. People can collect Linden dollars in Second Life, and trade them in for cold, hard, American cash. There are no goals, no score, and no winning; in essence it’s Pee Wee hockey only for nerds. You can buy houses, own land, and make your avatar just as hot as you would want to look in real life, but don’t.
Second up is Warcraft, don’t lie; I know you’ve downloaded the free 10 day trial. Just like Second Life, you can create and customize your character to make it represent who you want to be in real life. Only you’re not really a 6 foot tall blonde babe, you’re a 4 foot tall gnome with super powers- actually- you’re not really that, you’re a disgusting green ogre with no dental plan, actually you’re not that, you’re a broom! You pick from two sides, Alliance (the pussy ‘good guys’) or Horde (the ‘bad guys’ who are way sweeter to play, and less whiney). Each side has a couple of different races: cow hippies, mentally handicapped ogres, ditzy elves, humans and Jamaican trolls to name just some. Each one you pick you can choose a class; for example you can have magic powers, heal other peeps, or just be a typical bad ass and Chris Brown all your enemies with different weapons. Unlike Second Life, there are goals, and each quest you complete brings you money, weapons, reputation, and the satisfaction that you just spent 5 hours in a dungeon with 4 other sweaty nerds via Ventrilo, a program that lets you actually talk to these people in real time. There is a whole economy present, with real time market fluctuations and supply and demand.
Now that you know the basics of both, it’s time to play Nerd Showdown, where I will pick 3 main elements these games have and tell you which one has the best.
Man oh man, you can’t have a real game without these guys. Without pedophiles, what would Hilary Clinton even talk about? In Warcraft they are existent, but only as attention starved southerner’s that will trade you 60 Void Crystals to /flirt with him… Maybe pretend to be his sexy troll girlfriend. However, in Second Life pedophiles are all up on that like 15 year old girls and blue eye shadow. They have hundreds of sketchy places that prey on kids, and because you can create avatars that look like children, you can bet all the Michael Jackson’s will be at that playground loosing their puppies like nobody’s business. I’m declaring Second Life the Pedophile winner.
Chance you can be cool
For everyone who has ever started playing Warcraft, you look up to the level 80’s like they were Jesus. They give you bread and fish, clothing, help fight all the bad people with morals that are different then yours… When you finally get to be the highest level there is such a power trip, because all those guys picked last in gym now can be the cool kids in Warcraft. In Second Life you can make real money, what’s better than that? Oh wait, did I mention you had to have virtual pretend sex with a super creepy man you met in Lego Land while wearing a virtual dong he gave you? I hope it was worth the 16 Linden dollars, pervert. Warcraft is declared the winner here.
Money is a very important aspect of both these worlds, and having enough of it to sustain your weird habits is like an art form. Better start saving now, because you need 600 gold pieces to be able to fly a giant bat, so better cut down on the virtual booze here, David Hasselhoff. Playing the Auction House like Charlie Sheen in Wall Street teaches you mad skillz that you need in the real world. Plus everyone needs to know how to take out creepy people with a huge-ass sword. In Second Life you have less of a world economy but an equal chance you bought your in-world dollars like in Warcraft from Korea like a sucker. Second Life can teach you about places in the world, you can host and attend virtual seminars, educational institutions, professional lectures, and art galleries from all over the world you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. But I still think Second Lifers need to work on their real life, plus I like Warcraft better so I declare World of Warcraft the best nerd game you can play for nerd veterans and nerd n00bs. For the Horde, Bitches!