I was eating lunch the other day, and suddenly an eureka moment struck me.
OMG, MMOs are like carrots! Yum!
No, I’m not talking about the grind or how achievements are leading users by the carrot and stick. Instead, our little root vegetable here in many ways can give insight into how users perceive MMOs – past, current and future.
You see, I grew up with Saturday morning cartoons. Bugs Bunny would always have one of these orange glow sticks in hand while poking fun at poor Elmer. Even heading out to the supermarket with my Mom, we’d see stacks and stacks of these things, vibrantly uniform against their green tops. This was the natural order of things.
Had I been born several centuries earlier, things would have been very different. Before the 17th-century Holland, carrots looked like this.
It’s made a comeback in recent years, these purple friends of years long past. But for well over five centuries, western civilization has all but wiped the memory from its citizens. Of course, there are reasons. Some attribute the victory of the orange carrots to their being sweeter and more fleshly. Personally, I favor the idea that nationalistic pride on part of the Dutch, who for the better part of those years held vital interests all over the world.
But you see, what makes this an interesting view into cultural phenomenon is how the first reintroduction of the purple carrot in 2002 UK failed miserably. Supermarket buyers baulked at the idea of eating such distorted and weirdly colored carrots – which when you think of it, looks like they’re spoilt. It took a better part of a decade before the whole superfoods craze to elevate it back into social conciousness.
So, are there MMO types out there that play the purple carrots to our orange DikuMUDs? Have any reached superfood status or are we still in the yuck-stage?