Video games are big, fun places where people get to pretend to do something they might never do in real life.
This, of course, includes incredible sociopathic activity, obsessive devotion, and sometimes ingenuity that changes how future video games are played forever. Here are just five ways gamers have changed the course of the video games (for better and for worse):
5. Steal from Each Other #FTW
EVE Online is the only modern Massively-Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) that encourages players to steal from each other. Players join together to build corporations with goals that include production, corporate espionage, territory control, and even investment banks. In 2006, EVE's largest entirely player-run bank went rogue, stealing 700 billion in-game dollars. Roughly estimated, that's over a hundred thousand dollars USD all giftwrapped to Dentara Rast. Rast had this to say, "The only person involved was me. One Person. And that one character I used was Cally. Not one person who supported the EIB, worked for the EIB, or was involved in anyway with the EIB was aware of my intentions."
Essentially, he used multiple characters to provide the appearance of a fully staffed bank. It being a virtual world and everything, the jilted players never had a chance to get back at him. Rast's next step, though he never admitted anything, was to send his winnings to his horde of alternate characters and continue to run the galaxy behind the scenes.
4. Win. And then win faster.
People play video games to win, and they are generally designed as such. Completing a game is satisfying, but a devoted internet community competes to see who can beat any game the quickest. Utilizing any tools at their disposal, be they glitches, "tools" (cheats), and genuine skill players will memorize every aspect of a game and post videos of their latest attempts. The average speedrunner picks a game and becomes the best at it, and some speedruns (like the Morrowind speedrun featured above) are genuinely entertaining.
3. Find the glitches and set up a competition.
Super Smash Brothers: Melee wasn't intended for competitive play. It features a host of wildly unbalanced Nintendo characters going head to head in arena-style combat. But gamers found a way. Hours were spent discovering glitches, the only arena that features no environmental hazards, and a list of characters capable of participating competitively. The result is a wildly different game from the unassuming kid-friendly beat-em-up developed by Nintendo. Global tournaments are still hosted by the faithful, and Nintendo added a feature where players randomly "tripped" in the games sequel that made competitive play even more difficult.
2. Game the system ... and its creators.
Asheron's Call is a long-forgotten MMO featuring something that many of the current ones forgot: An emergent story. The developers called upon players to participate in roleplaying events, and in one instance were shocked with what their customers did. The Shard of the Herald was, for all intents and purposes, a sitting duck. Players were asked to destroy a glowing crystal to continue the game's plot, but a plucky squad of subscribers took a stand. They played in shifts, protecting the shard, nicknamed "Harry," 24 hours a day. Developers eventually had to send in a group of extremely powerful enemies to massacre them and destroy the shard in order to progress the plot. A memorial was erected to the rebellious group that spent their lives protecting a shard, however, and remains on the Thistledown server to this day. 1. Kill the Creator. Ultima Online was the first popular MMO and the only one where its creator was murdered while trying to give an inspirational speech. A character with the in-game name Rainz, logged in to discover a pre-spaceman Richard Gariott roleplaying his video game alterego: Lord British. He quickly stole a fire spell, and casted it on the young king. Surprisingly, he managed to kill him. A horde of developer-spawned demons descended upon the offender and a bunch of innocent players, haphazardly murdering everyone.
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