“Well I did it,” begins a recent post on Blizzard’s World of Warcraft forums. We often discuss here at Tap-Repeatedly how killing, in its many forms, has long been the predominant form of expressing progress in the medium of video games. Today it is such a given to seasoned gamers, most of us would never give pause to even consider what we’re doing. Although the how has evolved — from the hell-spawn in Doom, to the majestic giants in Shadow of the Colossus, to even the egg-thieving pigs of Angry Birds — the why has always remained the same: progress.
But is there no other way? Of course there are games that don’t rely on this tried and true method, but they are the exception. Unless a game falls into the genre of sports, dancing or railroad building you’re probably going to have to kill something or someone to complete it. And that is why one person’s recent achievement leaves me in awe.
The player known as Everbloom on the Feathermoon realm in World of Warcraft reached the level cap, 85, three days ago. Ordinary news, of course, as every second I type a word here someone is hitting the level cap somewhere in Azeroth. What is extraordinary about Everbloom’s journey to the top is that he or she did so without slaying a single creature along the way, human-controlled or otherwise. They gained experience in the game world exclusively through exploration and the extraction of herbs and minerals. They briefly talk about it here. And if you don’t believe the claim, see for yourself.
Call it perseverance or call it madness, it’s a curious act; one which asks us each to examine the how of our approach to play. But perhaps more importantly, the why.
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