Fun and Games

From Farmville to Angry Birds, I’m not much one for the latest game crazes on social media or cell phones. However, the day before we left to drive halfway across the country, my brother introduced an app game called Rage of Bahamut to us. I was busy hostessing, and didn’t think I’d want to play, anyway – but the next day rolled around, and the DH got me to download it and start playing. It’s a “collectible card game,” amusingly enough – although the cards are just pixels on a screen! I have some experience with CCGs from my high school/college Yu-Gi-Oh! days, so the concept was familiar to me. I like the “free” part of this game, and the lack of physical objects one has to cart around in a box! Rage certainly saved our sanity on the long drive – my husband and I rotated out every two hour or so, and while Carry On, Jeeves made for an entertaining audiobook, it really wasn’t sufficient to keep us from becoming terminally bored while stuck in the car literally all day. Then, while we were out there (with none of our regular things to do that we would have had at home), we managed to level up quite a bit in a week. It’s great being married to a national champion wargamer – I don’t have to think of killer strategies on my own! (I did come up with shortcuts to share with him, so it’s not all one way benefit – good for my ego!)

It’s amazingly addicting for a cell phone game – but one of its features are stamina bars that deplete and then regenerate over real time, so a few minutes here and there throughout the day is more than sufficient time to play. As far as obsessions go, this one is stellar; today, despite still not feeling very well, I got a lot of housework done while I was waiting for my stamina bar to fill again. Of course, the game company would just love to sell you items to refill your stamina, but that defeats the purpose of “free.” (We both spent $1 on a promotional offer accompanied by a bonus item used in-game by players in lieu of currency.)

Video game (or PC game) economies are fascinating. This game has “game money” – but it’s virtually worthless as a medium of exchange. What people use instead are the items that regenerate various stamina bars – there are far fewer of these items in circulation, and while they can be used for gameplay, unlike the game money, it’s not necessary to use it while playing. Game “money” must be consumed to upgrade one’s cards – items can be saved for trading. Some of the low-level common cards can be bought and sold for game money – but all the “good” cards are exclusively traded in items. It’s probably good practice in teaching people about bartering when paper money is worthless due to inflation. 😉


About pancakeloach :)
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