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Author Topic: EP124: Save Me Plz  (Read 52100 times)

Listener

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Reply #50 on: October 03, 2007, 04:04:01 PM
Maybe this is old news to you all, but I know a guy who is working in WoW.  I know nothing about WoW, but from what I'm told he's achieved a high level of weapon smithing.  So he spends all day in the game making weapons, then he sells them on real world eBay.

On that topic...

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/10/02/charlie-strosss-halt.html

A novel about a bank robbery in a MMORPG.

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gedion_ki

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Reply #51 on: October 03, 2007, 07:08:00 PM
Two solid concepts I enjoyed from this story were, one the total immersion into a game and how it becomes the only reality once inside. That and how those not in the game really do loose touch with you.  I've been there and in many ways, falling this deep into a game smothers you as a person. I know that by abandoning MMOGS I discovered SF and that I have artistic talents both of which are much more satisfying to me then days in game.

The thing second thing that really struck a cord was the final part of the story where the girl finds herself feeling a hint of longing for what use to be reality. This says a lot about human nature, fantasy or mundane world, we tend to long for what is different. The grass isn't really greener on the other side of the fence so to speak.



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Reply #52 on: October 03, 2007, 07:13:35 PM
The grass isn't really greener on the other side of the fence so to speak.

Or maybe it's always greener.  She chose (maybe) to change the world to a "better" one, then when she's there, longs for what she's lost. 



Hatton

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Reply #53 on: October 05, 2007, 03:19:41 PM
Second post on the forum - EP addict since almost the beginning.

The first thing I thought of in this story was when I used to teach at ITT.  We *constantly* had students drop or be absent because they were always playing WoW.  The instructor's nickname for that game is World of Warcrack.

Granted, as a kid I would stay up with my friends for entire weekends eating pizza, drinking coke and playing DnD.  Now that i have a wife, children and most importantly a job, such activities are no longer an option.

As much as I loved the story and the characters, the thesis of the story did not change my impression of the MMORPG environment.

Cheers!
Hatton

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Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #54 on: October 07, 2007, 04:32:21 AM
I believe it's been announced that this story will be appearing in Rich Horton's Years Best Fantasy, 2007. Congratulations, Mr. Barr Kirtley!



Loz

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Reply #55 on: October 09, 2007, 08:03:32 AM
The thing I liked best about this story is that "bad guy" wasn't really what most people would call evil; he was just trying to make the world into what he thought would be a better place.

Well, he was removing people's right to self-determination without their consent and, apparently, turned a woman into his sex-kitten, sex-elf, whatever. Fits into 'evil' in my value scheme.



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Reply #56 on: October 09, 2007, 01:47:58 PM
First-time poster, longish time listener!  Love the Escape Pod!

For me, this story was o-kay.  Honestly, it was a lukewarm mash-up of World of Warcraft and The Matrix.  Kind of amusing, but didn't thrill me like "Sundial Brigade" or some of the others.

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Reply #57 on: October 10, 2007, 03:11:29 PM
I love the way this story ended: very light sounding, but in reality (uhm, well, as far as reality goes in this case...) very, very very dark.

Loved it!



darth_schmoo

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Reply #58 on: October 17, 2007, 11:20:40 PM
I really liked this one.  I was hoping that the twist in the end would be that everyone was living in The Matrix.  That is to say, the online world had grown to take over most peoples' world, to the point where the only way to get the real-world work done (educating people, doing drudge work) was to have it controlled from within the game.  Then, so much drudge work has to be done in the game that people wrote a game within the game to give themselves a place to escape to.  My assumption was that, because "real life" contained evil goblins and quest-giving gnomes, the heroine was actually within a game, and had been her whole life.

I think the author's ending was better (although having the inner game affecting the outer game makes more sense to me in my version).

Fun, geeky, timely stuff.  Mur did a great narration.



Hysteria

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Reply #59 on: October 25, 2007, 08:54:28 PM
Two points--

First, where did the original wand of reification come from?

Second, and slightly more disturbing, how did Meg come to be Lina?  We know he may have changed her at least slightly over the course of the quests, and I'm willing to bet she didn't complain.  Who'd complain about being magically thinner, or magically better-looking?  Thing is, though...at some point he made her stop being Meg, and start being Lina.  I'm pretty sure that crosses that fine line between selfishness and evil.

Anyway, it was a good story, and I was trying to figure out what would happen right up until the end.  Also, Mur reads brilliantly. :)



Roney

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Reply #60 on: October 25, 2007, 09:47:37 PM
I'm pretty sure that crosses that fine line between selfishness and evil.

I know what you mean by this, but the more I see of selfishness and the more I see of evil, the less I see a line.  Selfishness is the root of all evil.



Loz

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Reply #61 on: October 26, 2007, 06:01:47 AM
at some point he made her stop being Meg, and start being Lina.  I'm pretty sure that crosses that fine line between selfishness and evil.

Isn't that rather the point. He claims that what he's doing is for the good of everyone (without everyone getting a say) but he completely changes Meg, and it's not made clear whether she's aware that she's changing, but I took away a feeling that didn't know that, especially as each time she completes the quest he wipes her memory.



Listener

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Reply #62 on: October 26, 2007, 05:48:30 PM

First, where did the original wand of reification come from?


IIRC (it WAS over a month ago), it was one of those artifact items that just show up in games.  The guy heard about it, quested for it, found it, and pulled an eight-year-old-with-a-genie, but because the computer can't say "you can't wish for more wishes", he got another Wand of Reification when he asked for it. 

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davekirtley

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Reply #63 on: January 24, 2008, 08:54:43 PM
As an experiment, I did a "video picture book" (as in the old TV show Reading Rainbow) adaptation of the first scene of this story, using Mur's audio (with permission), and posted it on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohq_V-WkHFc










Also, I've made the full text of this story available on my website:
http://www.davidbarrkirtley.com/plztext.html
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 10:33:20 PM by davekirtley »



Roney

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Reply #64 on: January 24, 2008, 11:21:17 PM
As an experiment, I did a "video picture book" (as in the old TV show Reading Rainbow) adaptation of the first scene of this story, using Mur's audio

I was pleasantly surprised by how well it works.  My mind has a tendency to wander when I've just got the audio to listen to, and I tune back in realizing that I've missed five minutes of a story and now have no idea what's going on.  There was just enough substance to the pictures to keep me concentrating entirely on the story.  Particularly with the (intentional?) comic effect of the quite literal depiction of words in the text: every time "sword" is in a sentence, let's have half a second of a picture of a sword.  I imagine that this could be exaggerated to very funny proportions, a la Zero Punctuation, although "Save Me Plz" probably isn't the right story to undermine with that kind of silliness.



davekirtley

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Reply #65 on: August 07, 2008, 02:04:53 PM
> I believe it's been announced that this story will be appearing in Rich Horton's Years Best Fantasy, 2007. Congratulations!

Thanks! The book is out now. This is my first-ever appearance in a year's best anthology, so obviously I'm really excited. Here's the cover:



In addition to me and the authors listed on the cover, this book also includes stories by people like Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Link, Ian R. MacLeod, Daniel Abraham, Theodora Goss, Benjamin Rosenbaum ... and PodCastle editor Rachel Swirsky! View the complete table of contents at:
http://www.davidbarrkirtley.com/plz.html



zZzacha

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Reply #66 on: August 07, 2008, 02:52:43 PM
Thanks! The book is out now. This is my first-ever appearance in a year's best anthology, so obviously I'm really excited.
..
In addition to me and the authors listed on the cover, this book also includes stories by people like Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Link, Ian R. MacLeod, Daniel Abraham, Theodora Goss, Benjamin Rosenbaum ... and PodCastle editor Rachel Swirsky!

WoW, congratulations, David! And Rachel too!

I really loved this story and have listened to it a few times because I love the tiny bits of fantasy that dribble down in the 'real world'. Real nice!

Of course, the experience of this story in print will be very different from this EP version, since it will lack the wonderful voice of Mur... I'll just have to listen to my own voice then

It is never too late to be what you might have been.


Unblinking

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Reply #67 on: March 03, 2010, 06:18:56 PM
LOVED it.  And not only because I've also written a story (as yet unpublished) that takes place inside an MMORPG.  :)

I was interested from early on when the giant spider showed up, and when they were talking about the game world and how it had some normal stuff like monsters and swords of cleaving, but threw in stuff that never existed like pirates and knights. That was a really cool way to introduce everything.  At first, I was a little skeptical about the world--how could we end up in a world so much like our own but without having originated with a world that had knights and pirates.  But of course that makes perfect sense from the final view of the tale.  That guy makes a great villain, apparently convinced that he's doing the world a favor while twisting everything to his will.  Creepy!

And, on to some philosophy:  I liked the explanation of quantum observation through gaming concepts.  It made sense to me, but then I'm a software engineer not a quantum physicist.  The story struck home on some philosophical musings I've had from time to time.  I know I'm a gamer geek because I have, from time to time, noted in my mind when seeing something in real life "wow, that's an impressive rendering".  Something as simple as a waterfall, I ponder how each water molecule is moving independently of one another, individually too small to see but creating a beautiful whole unit we see as a single thing, a waterfall.  Even when done well in a computer graphics display, water isn't stored down to the particle, it's more likely represented as a warpable reflective surface which acts as a boundary between different settings for the physics engine, MAYBE with a few water droplets splashing on the viewscreen, but not on the particle level as a whole.  And if you leave the area, it does not continue to exist in any dynamic sense, only continuing on as some stored values that can be brought up by the graphics engine when you come back.  In the real world, all of these infinite interactions are happening ALL OF THE TIME.  This is possible because there's no central power coordinating the atoms, each exists because it exists, not because someone REMEMBERS it to exist.  In this way, a simulation world is sort of analogous to those religions/cultures who believe that the world is a dream dreamt by some sleeping god--In this case the god is the CPU and the dream is the game.  The only things that exist are those things that it keeps track of.

And on to my intentional avoidance of MMORPGs.  I avoid them for several reasons:
1.  Subscription-based games would drive me to play more for the sake of efficiency.  Though I'm many years out of college, I still have a college economic mindset--stretch my dollar as far as I can.  If I paid a monthly fee and didn't play, then that would be wasted money.  If I paid the fee, and played 10 hours, then I would think that I could've gotten more for my money by playing for 15 hours.  If I played 15 I would think that I could've gotten more for my money by playing 20 hours.  And so on.  I could probably resist the urge to play above a certain amount of time, but it would drive me nuts and I would be constantly irritable.
2.  My schedule is weird.  I rarely ever play games in long stretches or at the same time of day/week.  Most of the potential fun would be hanging out with buddies, and I just don't think I'd ever be consistent enough chance to play.
3.  There will always be someone better.  No matter how much time I devoted to such a game, there would ALWAYS be someone I'd meet online who would be more experienced, more devoted, and more powerful in every way.  To me, that kind of takes some of the fun out of it--because I'd try to not be obsessed, I would be automatically inferior (in the gameworld) to most everyone I came across.
4.  I am inclined to game-binge.  I've managed to avoid this for a long time, but I know the potential is still there.  I did this from time to time in high school.  One week I rented The Legend of Zelda:  The Ocarina of Time over Christmas vacation, and played it pretty much nonstop until I beat it 5 days later.  Literally, sitting in one place for 16 hours a day, joints aching, eyes bleary, only getting up to use the bathroom or to scrounge up just enough food to stop my stomach from growling. 



stePH

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Reply #68 on: March 03, 2010, 11:51:11 PM
And on to my intentional avoidance of MMORPGs.  I avoid them for several reasons:
1.  Subscription-based games would drive me to play more for the sake of efficiency.  Though I'm many years out of college, I still have a college economic mindset--stretch my dollar as far as I can.  If I paid a monthly fee and didn't play, then that would be wasted money.  If I paid the fee, and played 10 hours, then I would think that I could've gotten more for my money by playing for 15 hours.  If I played 15 I would think that I could've gotten more for my money by playing 20 hours.  And so on. 

This one alone keeps me out of any subcription MMOs.  I'd feel compelled to cat-ass just to get my money's worth. 

And even the totally free Hello Kitty Online failed to keep me for more than a week.

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising