Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gaming with the Stars!

So, Grimwell attends that Mecca of all gamers in America: E3. That paragon of game technology beckons thousands from all over the world and flaunts its multichromatic vice to all. Surprisingly, that “all” includes famous celebrities who made the short trek from Hollywood to LA to also peruse what’s new in gaming.

I must admit, the idea of Hollywood’s greatest playing online games fascinates me – it’s like finding out that Superman and Wonder Woman are regulars at your favorite restaurant, only with an added bonus. There is an excellent chance that you may be better at the game than they are. They may have to ask you —little, peon, nobody you – for help to get to the next level.

I say this not as an insult but as a realization. For example, my 10 year old plays GuildWars and is fairly adept at it (of course he is – he’s ten! Anyone younger than 12 is a pro at any piece of technology no matter how new advanced it is. We should have 10 year olds working with technology for the Defense Department!) As a result, newer players regularly offer my son in game money in return for a tour of a place or to help them get to a really great place for gold and action. My son finds this hilarious – that a 10 year old could do it on his own but the other guys can’t. But he’s no fool; he takes their money and leads the way.

I think these people would freak if they knew a prepubescent was their tour leader. I feel the same way about gaming with celebrities. As it turns out, Robin Williams is a game freak and had a blast at E3 himself. Could you imagine learning that a guild mate of yours was none other than Robin Williams?! That is an interesting element of the internet – absolute anonymity. And even if he did try to say he was THE Robin Williams, no one would believe him – look what happened in the 90’s when David Duchnovy tried to enter a chat room about himself. “Yeah, right. And I’m Gillian Anderson!” No one believed him.

Maybe if Robin William told some good jokes; but even then, believing that the really good joke teller in your guild is the REAL Robin Williams is a stretch. It would be great fun to try to screw with him though (“Yeah, you need to kill every rabbit in the game before you can advance to the next level”). Mr. Williams seems to be a great sport about things, and that could easily translate into being a great gamer. Plus, the idea of having power over the powerful can make one giddy with the possibilities!
However, not all celebrity gaming is a good thing. Look at what happens when you let Paris Hilton take the controller. She may look pretty, but could you imagine if she were in your guild? Ugh! It would be the “losers” guild with nothing more than clipped language (“Do you want to go to the next town?” “That’s hot!”). She would be more worried about her shoes than whether her friends were getting whacked by some egregious creature in the game!

And don’t get me started on her lovely sense of recall. While she may make a pretty model, a spokesperson she is not! Her game “Paris Hilton’s Jewel Jam” will not only be in the $1 bin within a week of release, she cannot even correctly name her own game! Instead, she called it “DiamondQuest” and left the building. Could you imagine the horror that would ensue if she played an online game? “Ohh, let’s play ‘Land of Fighting!’” “No, I don’t want to level. I just like picking out clothes for my character. That’s hot!”

Don’t even get me started on Tom Cruise (“We must have absolute silence while gaming!”).

All in all, while some celebrities would be a blast to game with – Robin Williams is one, and I think Samuel L. Jackson would be fun to encounter in game – too many Paris Hiltons and Tom Cruises could really spoil the fun. That’s what makes online gaming so fun; I don’t have to know who I’m really playing with. And if I don’t like them, I can take my cloak of magic and go play somewhere else.