Oh, the cruel world in which we live.

May/2004: Video Games - I really, really want to play City of Heroes.

I'd love to. This game was built for me. From the day I played my first video game pre-Nintendo, deep, deep down... I wanted to play this game. I saw it back then, I swear. City of Heroes is potentially the game that could wrap me up in another world and cause me go go techocoma like the kid in that one Nowhere Man episode that was positively stellar. If you remember the show Nowhere Man, congratulations. It was a good show. If you remember the episode I'm talking about, IM me. I'd be VERY impressed.

I could lose myself in this game. Massively multiplayer. Non-linear. Forming superhero alliances to combat crime. A rich, lush, 3D environment that you could spend days upon days exploring by itself. Total superhero customization. New content releases. The pure addiction of it.

Not to mention the upcoming expansion pack: City of Villains, which will let people create a villain, and down the line, let the player-heroes and the player-villains do battle. And the player... I mean, just imagine this possibility!

You're patrolling the city.
You're very powerful.
You turn the corner.
Bam, there's the much ballyhooed supervillain group!
The fight ensues!
Word spreads!
Others come to the rescue or to attack the heroes.

Goddamn, it's almost enough to keep me up at night, salivating over. I have waited so long for this game. So very, very long. This is my every old-school comic markout video game wish. All in a pretty box for fifty measly bones.

Sound good? Yep.

Until you realized that the company that has made the game is charging an additional fifteen bones to even PLAY the game online with others. And that you can't get used to the interface and controller settings until pay the fifteen on top of the fifty. And if enough people don't pay the fifteen or buy the game? Boom, you're out at least sixty-five bucks.

Why does this cost fifteen bucks a month to play? Sure, the server costs would be something, but if Diablo 2 can turn a profit with free online play, so could City of Heroes. Hell, even if it were a reasonable price, say... five bucks a month... that could be doable. An additional sixty bucks a year is feasible. But 180?!?!

There is just no way. The investment itself would demand you spent copious amounts of time playing... which would probably make you lose your job and then lose the ability to play anyways...

But I think of all the possibilities... another player taking out an ally of yours, you swearing to bring them to justice! Hunting them down through the city, the titantic battle... the politics of it, the grouping, the pure mayhem... oh the mayhem! Hell, I'd even use "Xavier Von Erck" as my supervillain name. It sounds quite supervillain style to me.

But oy, you cruel, cruel world.

Or should I say, video game company.