The superstitions of MMORPG players

Do you keep a rabbit’s foot in your Warcraft character’s inventory in the hopes that it will bring you better loot? Do you believe that facing a certain cardinal direction while crafting an item in Final Fantasy will improve the quality of the object you’re creating? If so, you share in some of the many player superstitions common in massively-multiplayer online games. The Daedalus Project has done some research about superstitions held by players in online games.

Truly fascinating stuff–the superstitions range from the simple to the bizarre, and many persist even after game designers have specifically denied that they have any effect on gameplay.

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4 Comments

  1. pcg says:

    Even though I have never participated in a MMORPG, I’ve participated in many of the same rituals, be it in other computer games or even live (AD&D) games! Most notably, I used to do something similar to Skinner’s pigeon dances in Nethack when I was confronted with a monster slower than me: right-up-diagonal-attack. Same goes for playing with dice in non-critical AD&D moments to get the bad rolls out. Man, I’m glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

  2. Andy says:

    Yeah, I do the “getting the bad rolls out” superstition myself when playing live RPGs, too–it’s strange that one can simultaneously realize that it’s a silly superstition, yet nevertheless feel strangely compelled to abide by it anyway, “just in case”.

    I play WoW, but don’t think I’ve developed any strange in-game superstitions. I have noticed that when WoW loot is randomly distributed by the game, the really nice druid-specific equipment that my druid character could really use invariably ends up going to the one warrior in the group who’s prohibited by his class from even using it, and who ends up selling it (never to me, of course) on the auction house for cheap. Or just ditching it because he needs to make room in his inventory. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

    Maybe there’s a superstitious activity I can start performing in order to make that stop…

  3. Mikie says:

    “Ok…this one’s for practice…” (clackety-clack) “…and this one’s for REAL!!!”

  4. kabalyero says:

    Nah! I just play mmorpgs normally. If I fail in crafting then I’ll just keep on doing it until I succeed. 🙂

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