The One that Got Away (from me)

November 4, 2009 at 5:03 am | Posted in General, LotRO, World of Warcraft | 1 Comment
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Wotcha everyone,

What is it with the current gaming obsession with fishing?

I am not a fisherman.  I don’t like the concept of sitting on the bank of a canal, freezing my bits off, being forced to drink Bovril from a nasty flask just to keep alive, whilst attempting to catch something, anything, other than a shopping trolley.  Only to just throw it back in, once I’ve caught something.

I do have positive memories of fishing.  Sitting on the bank of the Zambezi River, catching Breem and cooking them on a fire as they came out of the water, with a net full of beer and wine cooling in waters that would soon be tumbling over Victoria Falls.  Where the hazards were crocodiles and hippos, rather than freezing to death in English drizzle.

Admittedly, they are amongst my first memories, being about 4 years of age at the time, but I’m not altogether anti-fishing.  I can understand that other people can go out fishing, and really enjoy it as a hobby, as a past-time.

MMOs definitely aren’t anti-fishing.  Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online are big proponents of this sport of princes.  And now I’m hearing about fishing in Torchlight, which is admittedly not an MMO yet, but is to be the basis of one at some point in the future.

Hmm.  Fishing has always seemed to be a barely disguised time-sink to me.  It was wholly comprised of not-fun.  I gave fishing more than a fair chance; it was required for alchemy and cooking, and it was a “fun mini-game” to boot.  I pretty soon learned that for me, it wasn’t.  I could spend a couple of hours fishing for a small amount of gain, or I could spend that same couple of hours instancing, or running around making small change from monsties.

I’ve heard that it’s a wonderful change of pace, but if I want a change of pace from an MMO, I can play another game.  Or watch a film.  I’m just not an electronic fisherman, and never will be.

I remember when it wasn’t the case; when gaming magazines would ritually humiliate the various fishing simulations that would be released for the pc.  How times change.  Maybe fishing games need to start adding in monster-killing mini-games in order to get better reviews and more acceptance amongst gamers…

It also makes me wonder about hobbies in games.  Fishing was supposed to be the start of the hobby system in Lord of the Rings Online, but I’ve yet to see another hobby within the game.

I think one of the things that makes me wonder about the whole thing is that MMOs are supposed to be the hobby.  Why do I need a hobby, within my hobby?




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