What's in a game?

Day 4,808, 13:19 Published in USA USA by LoganBeary

I’m a new player, at least compared to all of you. It’s rare… I know! But I’ve been playing the game for less than a year now. And I know what question you want to ask…. Is this adorably fashionable bear just someone’s bot? I promise you… I’m way too cute to be a bot.

I joined eRepublik because a friend of mine had been playing the game for awhile and suggested it might be fun.

I was pretty lost in the mechanics of the game initially. I imagine you can empathize with that feeling from some point in your eRep journey, even if it was a long time ago. But as time has passed, I’ve figured out (at least to a small degree) some of how the game works. I know I’m not as lost as I once was. I actually made it through the amazing journey on my own with what (I thought) were good results. I surprised myself, and I like that.

Recently I’ve been thinking about reasons for playing this game. What draws us in and keeps us coming back? I know this game is not increasing in popularity, but some of you will play this game until the very last day it exists. Maybe I’ll be one of those people too. And why is that? As a relatively new player, I realized quickly that unless you put effort into playing and participating, there is not much that will keep you here. The weekly challenge is ok, but for a young player, it’s hard to get past a certain threshold of points each week. I really loved playing the amazing journey because it gave me a chance to earn more gold than I would ever earn in regular play. So why? What is it that keeps me coming back each day to log in?

What I’ve learned so far...

Some people play for the community. I’ve been told that people have found great friends through this game, and I imagine that playing for a long time together would lend itself to developing good friendships. For me, it has felt a little like moving to a new town and attending a new high school for your senior year. Everyone already has their friends and even though people are nice, you’re still the new kid and nobody knows you. Truth be told, I haven’t really put a lot of effort into meeting all of you yet, probably because I’m still figuring out the mechanics of the game. But let’s change that, shall we? Nice to meet you, I’m Logan Beary!

Some people play for the feeling of power. I think there’s something in all of us that wants a little more power over our lives. And there’s something empowering about amassing lots of money and battling other people without any real life consequence. I don’t know much about the military stuff, nor do I claim to be super effective on the battlefield, but I still fight. And I have fun fighting.

Some people play for the drama. Ok, I’ll admit it. I definitely read the media for the drama. It’s probably the reason most people watch trash tv (guilty as charged…). There’s a whole slew of reality shows that aren’t going to watch themselves. There’s something about watching someone else’s drama that makes my life not seem so ridiculously insane. I’m not sure why the drama is so interesting, but it’s juicy and I love it. Now, excuse me while I go make some popcorn and read the latest trolling of Gnilraps…

Some people play for politics. I don’t really get that, because irl I hate politics. I barely even know what’s happening in the real world politically. I do that on purpose. But there is a part of this game that creates the feeling of being a part of working toward a common goal. What I find fascinating is seeing how different these goals are for different people.

Some people play for the anonymity of character. Let’s face it. Not many of us in this game are the same online as we are in real life. Much to everyone’s surprise, I’ll admit I’m not a bear. So what does this anonymity do for me? It offers me a chance to just be. I’m able to be “someone else” for a little while each day. I work in my company. I train. I fight. I read the drama and vote and sub to newspapers. And that makes me a part of something else that is just mine and is separate from the life I live every day. I like that. It’s an escape, and it’s what keeps me coming back each and every day. Some days I just want to be a cute little bear that drives a tank.

So, let’s be friends! Write me some messages. Heck, you can flood me with messages. I’d love it. Tell me about your journey in eRep. I want to know.

Thanks to my friends in the Guild of Writers for pushing me to finally get something published, and for the help with graphics and ideas. If you’re looking for a push to publish, join us in the Guild of Writers.