Thursday, October 22, 2015

Expressing Yourself in Destiny

This week on PopMatters, I describe dancing the Carlton like a weird sort of improv.

I did not touch on the microtransactions aspect of the sweet new emotes in Destiny. For that you can check out yesterday's podcast right here.

For this follow up, I actually want to spotlight the game genre that has move given us the first of dance: the MMO. "Slash dance" became a thing for me in my World of Warcraft days. As my trusty Night Elf Druid, I could /wink, /nod, /sniff, and so on. I had an emote for any occasion. This huge list of emotes grew as the game went on, adding more ways for players to express themselves in all sorts of ways.

Like Destiny's emotes, many of these gestures could target other players. There is a special joy not just in laughing, but laughing at someone else. Building in non-verbal communication goes a long way towards lightening the mood giving players alternative modes of communication besides aggression alone. This is based purely on anecdotal evidence, but I suspect in-game gestures can decrease toxicity in game communities as well. I am far less likely to express aggression if I can /burp, /cackle, or /fart at my opponents and friends.

That deserves an /applause.

No comments:

Post a Comment