Ganking is “Impoverished” Play

Thomas Malaby analyses ganking over on Terra Nova:

What I would like to suggest is that this kind of PvP is meaningless. Or, perhaps more precisely, that the meaning it has is so narrow, rationalized, and improverished that it is outside of, or rejects, the game in which it is situated. Games, as ends in and of themselves, are things that can generate new meanings and experiences. For the ganker, however, ganking is a means to other ends (“Personal best crit!”), not a potentially generative new experience. (And, by the way, please keep in mind that I am not talking about all PvP — there are many other kinds, both institutionally designed by the developer and emergent, which would not fit with the argument I’m making here.)

Ganking lower level players is, then, a somewhat pathetic attempt to feel, well, something. But that something is not the meaning that participating in a challenging game would create — it is removed from that. If there is no contingency, it follows that there is no meaning — all you have left is an impoverished environment where pointless negative reciprocity (I was ganked at L24, so I’ll gank at L60) reigns.

Pretty much sums up how I feel about it.


[Thank you, Id, for pointing this out.]