Sunday, June 12, 2005

Games people play - online gaming at 30,000 feet

If you're into PC gaming at all - and by that, I mean "personal computing", not that political thing - then you know the hottest games are those that allow multi-player participation over the internet. There are a number of games out there that fall into the category of MMOG, or "massively multiplayer online game." There are all kinds, putting you in the persona of a character in Star Wars&trade, a swords & sorcery warrior or mage, a super hero, or into the cockpit of a WWII warbird tearing up the sky in a flying furball of a dogfight. I've played some of these games (still do, in 1 case) and they're an immensely enjoyable experience. The concept of being able to indulge my gaming habit while flying from DC to San Diego, for instance, instead of trying to sleep just to pass the time sounds like a tremendous deal to me! Of course, it raises some issues in what game, exactly, you allow someone to play. There are some out there that get pretty racy which might not be the kind of thing you should be exposing that 10-year-old kid sitting behind you to. Then, there's the issue of some of the subject matter of the games being a bit more sensitive in the air these days. For example, any of these...

I read the on-line cartoon "User Friendly" on a daily basis. I'm a techno-weenie, so I find the subject matter funny and applicable. Today's cartoon highlights the issue I just described. And you thought those Air Marshalls had enough to worry about.