Glop. I just want to get this post out quick so I can get back to playing Guild Wars 2. Yes, yes, I realize that I’m trying to speed through a post about poopsockers stuck in an MMO just so I can go back to playing my MMO. The irony isn’t lost on me, buddy.
• It has been two years already? What on earth? A few quibbles come to mind though.
First, how the hell are the players staying alive in the physical world? Are they being fed through test tubes? Does the in-game food magically sustain them? Even if they’re somehow surviving in the real world, they’re all bed-ridden anyway.
Second, it sure as hell doesn’t feel as though two years have passed. All we’ve done is solve some lame mystery, and watched Kirito woo girls left and right. I wonder if Kirito means it has been two in-game years, but then what’s the point of making this distinction?
Third, it’s even worse if it has really been two real-life years, ’cause tsk tsk, what’s taking you poopsockers so long to beat the game? Are you trying to tell me that our players can’t even reach max level after two years? That’s even worse than the most ball-breaking Korean MMOs out there, and lemme tell ya, those Koreans know their ball-breaking MMOs.
Finally, if it has really been two real-life years, the brilliant minds outside the game still haven’t found a way to save our trapped players? Oh, maybe SAO is so good that all the world’s geniuses decided to play the game, thereby screwing themselves and the world! See, another reason why Kirito is so badass! He’s probably a Nobel-winning physicist! No wait, computer programmer!
• I just watched Kirito brutally murder a poor bunny for some rare meat ingredient. Look how sad the bunny is just before it dies; Kirito’s a dick.
• Kirito: “But who has a high enough cooking skill to prepare this?”
Token Black Guy: “If we tried it, we’d just burn it…”
ERMAGERD, LEMME GUESS WHO HAS THE HIGHEST ENOUGH COOKING SKILL: IS IT MY FUTURE WAIFU?
Quelle shock. Y’see, Asuna is such the perfect waifu that she has already maxed out her cooking skill. Now that’s dedication. How many 3DPD women out there can’t even fix me a bowl of ramen! I demand satisfaction!
• Oh boy, ragout rabbit. That is some exotic shit. And of course, the token black guy doesn’t even get to have a taste. Still, I thought you guys said that we’d be getting back to the “main quest” by now. What’s with this side plot about cooking a goddamn rabbit ragout.
• Everyone in-game looks the same as they would in the real world, right? So what’s with the creepy old dude following Asuna around?
• Asuna tells Kirito all about how her small guild is no longer the same once they started getting popular. Welp, I guess that’s why real world guilds have applications and all that jazz. Seriously, trying to find a group of people to chill with apparently requires a vetting process equivalent to getting a real life job. At some point, I just stopped bothering to join guilds. Of course, if I had to trust my guildmates not to kill me, I guess an application would make sense….
• Mmhmm, exciting action this week like… uh, seeing Asuna’s house and…
…watching her change into a super short skirt and put on an apron!
• What the hell? It was a bunny. It was a tiny little bunny. Where did this giant-ass piece of meat come from?
This looks like something from a baby elephant.
• We can now see how lame crafting is in SAO. Well, yeah, we saw a bit of that last week when all the kawaii weaponsmith had to do was lightly hammer an ingot — no other material or anything — and it magically transformed into a sword. But my god, nothing is as lame as tapping a giant chunk of meat with a knife and having it crumble into perfect cubes. I just find it weird that SAO will kill you and everything, but you sure as hell don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty while cooking. The funniest thing is that even Asuna finds cooking in SAO to be boring, but Kirito watches her with rapt attention as if she was actually putting the meal together in real life.
• Asuna: “It’s strange… It kind of feels like I was born and raised here for my entire life. It’s just a feeling.”
Kirito: “Lately, there are days I can’t even remember the other world.”
These are strange thoughts to be having, especially when they’ve only been in SAO for a fraction of their real lives. Yeah, a lot of things are simpler in SAO, i.e. cooking. But on the other hand, I don’t literally have to fight for my life in the real world. I wonder if modern life has gotten too easy as a result, so it doesn’t feel earned. In SAO, however, you have to fight for your existence. Plus, all the “mundane” (I personally value the actual art of cooking, but I don’t suppose most SAO players would) stuff like cooking has been simplified.
I mean, this is how a lot of MMO players actually think. Why would you subject yourself to the endless grind for gear that defines most MMOs? Great, you just slayed the Lich King or whatever. You got the best gear in the land as a result. In just a few months though, Blizzard is just going to release another patch full of better gear that you will have to grind for; the quest never ends. But that’s my perspective; I don’t personally enjoy the gear treadmill. For a lot of players though, they’re shooting for accomplishments like world firsts. They want to have the distinction of standing around in the capital city with their shiny raid gear on display. They want you to look and go, “Wow, that guy is amazing at this game!”
What I’m trying to say is that people actually derive a sense of accomplishment from playing MMOs. What if the reward is your life then? That is certainly the case in SAO. Then unlike the drudgery of the real world, where you just wake up and go to school like your parents tell you to, people like Kirito and Asuna actually feel as though they’ve earned their place in the “world” by winning in SAO. I don’t necessarily agree with them, but their sentiments aren’t exactly alien to me.
The only thing I would say is that the real world may seem boring or uninteresting only because we’ve made it so. And we’ve made it so because not everyone has it easy. Society is (or rather, it should be) designed to help the least fortunate. So for the rest of us in the comforts and privilege of our middle class (or better) status, we may regard life as unearned and thus unfulfilling. But just look at the way innocent people die in SAO. These folks die not because they were immoral or anything like that. They died because they simply weren’t strong enough. SAO has safe zones and such, but it’s not necessarily a world that protects the weak. Once you step outside the main cities, you’re left to fend for yourself.
• Of course, our pair goes on to say that most people in-game have stopped trying, but I think Asuna is wrong when she says people have simply gotten accustomed to SAO. Look, man, if there’s a good chance of me dying, why the hell would I risk my life? Hell, she surely must have seen people die. As a vice commander or whatever the hell she is, Asuna should understand that not everyone is cut out for fighting. For example, her weaponsmithing friend that we met last week. I wonder if it’s because she and Kirito are so powerful compared to everyone else that they are blinded by the fact that not everyone can be like them.
• Asuna: “From the looks of things, you aren’t close to any other girls.”
Hell yeah, our playa wouldn’t tie himself down to a single babe when he’s got an MMO-sized harem!
Kirito: “It’s fine. I’m a solo player.” /snicker
• I’m sorry, but Asuna looks really lame here. A pink butter knife is not that threatening.
• Why would they party up now when they weren’t going to go questing until the very next day?
• Aaaaand there’s our accidental boob-groping scene.
We’re finally getting back to the main story, guys!
• What I find kind of sad is how Asuna makes a big deal about how she wouldn’t hinder Kirito whatsoever on the front lines, but she hides behind him when her escort shows up. Way to go, lady.
You’re the champion to girl gamers everywhere. Asuna even lets the creepy dude pull her away until Kirito steps in like the badass Gary Stu that he is: “Hands off my e-girlfriend!”
• Just when the episode gets to some actual action, it ends. Ah well. Back to Guild Wars 2 for me.