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The Longest Now

Gratuitous Gaming
Tuesday May 24th 2005, 3:15 am
Filed under: %a la mod

Retro post week.  Here’s one from many, many moons ago.  I
couldn’t bring myself to post it at the time because it was just…
too… geeky.

On the insistence of my cousin’s
daughter, I made the mistake of peeking into the seamy world of Really
Bad Games Written by High School Kids and Played by Tens of Thousands
of Users.

As the LoL newspaper
suggests, a lot of people are spending a lot of time doing really,
really silly things. Like giving eachother six septillion gold pieces,
back and forth. Which is wrong on so many levels; for instance, our
silly arabic numeral system deprives players of even the redeeming
feature of teaching people how to spell “septillion.”

Some of the more popular games in this
genre, like the one my cousin insisted I check out, a) only let you
make a few moves a day, b) require you jump through all kinds of hoops
to prove you’re a human, and c) have absolutely no plot, graphics, or
gameplay. Yet *hundreds of thousands* of people play them. Tends of
thousands play them for hours and hours every week. Entire high school
classes are apparently addicted to these games, whose concept,
complexity, and execution are more or less on a level with a viral form
of Pong.

Oh, this is too precious. Here’s a transcript from the online chat:

– Lord CoolKat “how can I owe you if I have a 153sept hole?

– Support Woden “ehehe ck i have 1.83oct hole wanna compare notes?

The game creators, who use english so
colorfully in their game descriptions, came up with their own
abbreviations for large numbers, since they occur so frequently. “M1”
stands for million; “M2” for million million. So if you see that Duke
Omega the pseudo dragon has 91,080M4 Experience, you can quickly
convert that in your head to 91.08 nonillion Experience. To put this in
perspective, that is approximately one Wilt Chamberlain squared.
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