Banstyle is also known as DJ Malt Refund, at least on his email.

Some day I'd like to take an anonymous poll, and ask people what would upset them more.. having the family pet die, or losing your "virtual" house and bank account to an exploiter. I can almost guarantee that, if answered honestly, more people would save the "house".

What are we doing here? Why do we care so much about imaginary property? Rant with me here for a second.

There are people out there, right now, that are making a whole lot of money off of us, and our drive to "succeed" in this game. There are people on eBay that buy accounts from fed up gamers, and sell them for profit to others. Thousands of dollars are given to these people that do this for a living. Is this is the new economy? Money for doing absolutely nothing? These people that make money.. they don't "play" the game. They have only one objective in mind, and it has nothing to do with trapping efreets.

These people know you are addicted to Ultima Online. They know that you'll pay. So, why are we addicted? Why do we play Ultima Online? Whats the point of a networked roleplaying game anyhow? Is it for gold coins? Is it for virtual notoriety?

I believe that people play this game to make a name for themselves. I mean, thats what it all comes down to right? To have people respect you for all your "gp" and all your "fame" and all the respect that comes with slaying the evil, bad, bad guy, whether he is highlighted red or blue. You did it. You saved the day. People "respect" you for that, and now they know your (code)name. Why else would we have such things as notoriety and endless supplies of gold coins? Could it be people want to be famous in real life, and they act that out in a virtual word? Of course. Everyone is a hero in Ultima. You slayed the dragon! Your armor is shining and in this world, it never rains! Nothing can possibly hurt you here.

I wasn't kidding when I said there are people on eBay that prey on exactly that kind of mentality, and they are getting REAL gold coins. We are all being tricked, espiecally by Origin. Do you honestly believe that Darwin was the only one to pull a stunt like that? I'm almost positive that he isn't. GMs have the ability to created ENDLESS amounts of gold coins with just a flick of the wrist, and sell it in the REAL world. How tempting is that?

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.

I read the story on the kid who was "addicted" to Ultima Online. I believe him. He made me think a little different. It is an addiction, just like alcoholism and drug abuse, only this addiction is totally un-tangible. With alcoholism, at least you can hold a bottle! Ultima, virtually, takes you to another world and makes you like it.. so you pay money to go back. I'm addicted to Ultima Online. What am I going to do about it? Is my will strong enough to quit? Isn't life too short?

For six months I've been gleefully coming home from work to play Ultima Online. Six months!! Thats like .08 of my life, give or take. I don't want to do that! What kind of man would I be then? How could I grow up and tell my children that I played a video game for six months of my life!?! That is the absolute definition of Generation X, the generation that accomplished nothing. What have we come to? This is mass madness, you maniacs!!

How many people are just like me, beyond Ultima? How many people just come home to watch TV? Is that the same thing? I don't think so, cause we aren't as passionate about our television, or pay 1000's of dollars for it once in a while, or value it more then the family pet. We have to stop thinking that we have accoplished something when we kill a wyvern. You have done NOTHING but bury yourself deeper, and there will always be people waiting at eBay for you to wake up from this dreamland we call Britainnia.

Return, you, to the Rantings of Lum the Mad you will

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