While working on a graphic arts project, our professor asked us to generate a presentation on a video game which had a lasting impact on our lives. Although this should have been a difficult decision for me to make given I am an avid gamer who has played literally every major MMO that exists now, it was not. Thinking back on the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours I spent in FFXI, I came to realize that there is a vital element which is missing from most other MMOs that FFXI seems to revolve around: genuine human interaction. Unlike other games, where soloing is a viable alternative to grouping, where the end game content is as much a matter of finding 20+ strangers who happen to have decent enough gear not to be a detriment to the group, what FFXI focuses on and excels at is the team player mentality. Although this may not seem like much, I began to tick off the names of people I met and played with here for hours on end who left a vital impression on my life. As the list grew, I realized that what this game gave me was not a tangible substance nor a pixelated collection of bragging rights objects, but instead the opportunity to meet and forge endless friendships. The amount of time that FFXI forces players to work for what, in other games seems to be handed on a silver platter, promotes strong bonds and unions that cannot be traded for gil, dollars or any other currency. I fell in and out of love here. I met some of the greatest people I've ever known. More than anything, I created a story which had no end: this lingers with me even now.
In a world where interpersonal relationships are so often conducted behind the anonymity of fleeting encounters and brief, meaningless diatribe, an environment where your primary goal is to weave together as many lives as possible to craft a beautiful tapestry of hard won memories, laughter and camaraderie cannot be assigned a tactile value.
The game you are playing is more than faceless drifters in a disconnected environment: it is a celebration of friends, family and strength.
<A game which provides priceless memories, friendships and ceaseless laughter long after it's ended.> <Found it!>