I Never Imagined Comparing Sit-ups to Everquest…

I promise my desk does not look like this, but I do love Post-it notes.

When I do sit-ups, I set myself a goal: 4 repetitions of 12.  When I read articles for anthropology, I set myself a goal: ten pages then break. I create lists on post-its, lists on white-boards and lists in my planner. Some may think….”this has nothing to do with Everquest II”.   However, I enjoy Everquest precisely because of this structured, goal-oriented mindset.  Each quest delivers a goal: 0/8 spider legs, 0/10 fire starters, 0/6 wolves.  Multiple goals appear as lists in the right-hand corner of my screen.  Although some players criticize this repetitive format, I find the structured nature of quests one of the most entertaining aspects of my initial experience in the virtual world.  The game mechanic of achieving goals to progress, especially the gathering or accomplishment of “blank “ out of “blank” items is present in many games.  Just recently, I played a game on my iPhone where I had to retrieve five keys to win more coins.

I also enjoy the diverse possibilities of interactions in Everquest II.   A variety of characters prance across the screen; a flaming horse whizzes past Dalil followed by a dwarf, robbed in white.  Fawn, hornets and ominously-moving trees all occupy the same space.  Everquest II is the opposite of a motionless world.  My eye darts left to right in constant entertainment.

See? This looks nothing like my character.

Besides existing only as a source of entertainment, Everquest II also offers lessons applicable to the real world.  Comparing a clean-cut, black-suited businessman with a petite, muddy-yellow half elf seems like a stretch, but in reality, the real world and the virtual world have some similar traits.  Byron Reeves discusses this connection in his article “Leadership’s Online Labs”.  In particular, I agree with his idea on risk taking.  In the game world, players take risks with a calm, collected mindset (most of the time).  While playing Everquest II, I realized that in order to succeed, I must fail to learn from my mistakes.  Players see failure as a necessity, rather than a mistake.  How does this relate to the real world?  In the real world, leaders must remain calm in order to make rational decisions.  Seeing failure as the ultimate end of the world, solely causes one to think irrationally and make poor decisions.  I believe the idea of “failing in order to succeed” is a beneficial outlook, whether in the gaming world, leadership positions, or just living one’s daily life.

I think Everquest II is the perfect introduction to Final Fantasy XIV.  Both games have similar settings of a foreign, magical land filled with a mix of creatures as well as humans.  Similar to Everquest, Final Fantasy presents quests to the avatar.  The game revolves around similar mechanics and goals as Everquest, but with differences in terminology, characters, classes, etc…  For example, the Final Fantasy introduces the term Guildeves, small, stained-crystal plates.  In general, I can apply most basic skills that I learned from Everquest to Final Fantasy: relying on team members to succeed, completion of quests, exploring unknown territory, attacking versus healing, the chat box.

As far as chat box goes, I have yet to interact with players outside my group.  I am still adjusting to the various mechanics of the chat box.  I have a habit of viewing it as an AIM or Facebook chat box, almost always forgetting to insert the slash before typing my comment.  At this point, the chat box seems useless because all my group members sit in a row beside me or have been present when I am playing.  However, In the future, when players are in different locations, I imagine the necessity of the chat box.

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