Ramblings about games

The movie Warcraft, based on the game World of Warcraft, was released today in China. Even though it got dismal reviews worldwide, Chinese people booked their tickets in advance and many attended the premiere that was today at 00:05 in many cinemas across the country. C.’s colleagues have been talking about the movie for weeks. I guess my colleagues have too, as I work for a gaming company, but being at home keeps me from many conversations and most of the activities.

I have never played World of Warcraft and I am not a big fan of games requiring you to invest a lot of time to “be the best”. The only game I played for a long time (over 9 years!!) was an online text-based roleplaying game where you had to create a band, learn skills, compose songs and tour the world. When I was 12 or 13 I loved playing two graphic adventures that one of my uncles copied in floppy disks and handed around to the whole family: Day of the Tentacle and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Later I tried my hand at Grim Fandango. I loved the humour and the witty dialogues in Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango, but I never was a big gamer. I was more into books and online chat rooms (back when people actually had conversations there).

I am curious as to why World of Warcraft and other similar games are so huge in China. It seems that basically every man here played online games during high school and university. I guess it was the only thing they could do apart from studying! And probably they played while they were supposed to be studying. (Our friend CL from RealGunners can probably testify to that! :P).

There are thousands of online Chinese games that directly copy World of Warcraft or that are very influenced by it. I worked in the Spanish version of a couple of them and I couldn’t understand why anyone would find them attractive: the game plays itself! You don’t have to do anything (don’t even mention think or make strategies), you just keep doing automated quests to earn more gold to buy better weapons to be stronger to do higher level automated quests to earn even more gold to buy even better weapons. If you want to do this faster, then you can pay real money to obtain more gold and weapons. But I must be the odd one out, because these games are highly successful. Particularly in Asia, but the localized versions earn a good money on Western markets too.

When I was in high school, I remember many of my male friends played first-person shooter games like Counter Strike and Quake. I wasn’t a big fan of those games either. I get very nervous and I am killed instantly! I might have a problem with my eye and hand coordination… that would explain many things!

Going back to the movie. I don’t know if C. will insist on watching it. I guess the special effects will be ok but that is definitely not enough to make me want to watch it! Well, to be honest there is another reason… Daniel Wu is in it! C. told me there is a saying in China: to be more handsome than Daniel Wu. Well, Chinese people call him by his Chinese name, Wu Yanzu 吴彦祖. He is an orc in the movie so probably not much eye candy there!

Modified poster of Warcraft that made the rounds yesterday in WeChat.

Modified poster of Warcraft that made the rounds yesterday in WeChat. I thought it was very funny and sent it to my neighbour, who has a husky prone to singing and making funny faces.


Did you play games when you were a student? Do you still play?