Monday, February 20, 2006

Thin line between love and hate

Thanks to the ever-excellent Avant Gaming, I stumbled across this last night - the latest innovation in World of Warcraft, and something I think telcos can viscerally relate to. My favorite passage of the description is:

"You and your second head will naturally be spending a lot of time together, and you may find one of your biggest challenges to be learning to cooperate and coexist with your lifelong soul mate. While you have full and absolute control of your head and its associated arm, both players will have simultaneous control of equipment and inventory management, both legs, and character locomotion. This can make it somewhat difficult to travel anywhere in particular if that particular destination at all differs in the mind of either player. Thus, good communication and well-defined roles are essential to the successful Two-headed Ogre. To facilitate this communication, each Two-headed Ogre will get its own [/body] channel so that both heads can better make personal decisions and confer privately about things like what quest to do next, what monster to target, and what direction to move in."

The other thing this drives home for me is the yawning gap between the strategy of MMORPG developers and telco media strategies. The former know that to extend the lifetimes of their products they have to continually throw up challenges and dilemmas for their users, and if they're smart, occasionally allow a little anarchy into the mix, or maybe even let the virtual world be self-organizing. Getting it right means gaining mindshare at the expense of the very medium the telcos are obsessed with right now.

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