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The Day The Earth Opened Up

Written By mista sense on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | 9:08 AM

Looks like it's "Games Meet Reality" week here at SVGL, since I wanted to briefly call your attention to something I posted the other day at Kotaku. From CDC Games, which operates several MMORPGs in China, we learn that even with a three-day outage amid the massive devastation caused by the country's recent earthquakes, the company's revenues are back up to normal only a week later.

I recall seeing television images that overlaid the map of the earthquake zone over the United States. The damage done would have left only our two coasts intact, had that disaster occurred here.

Of course, we see on the news only the most arresting of images from the heart of the destruction in China. Certainly the whole of the third-largest country in the world is not currently paved under rubble, so it's conceivable that throughout the entirety of the unaffected regions, people get over their blues and tune back in to their normal routines. And I've only seen results from CDC, and not those of the broad variety other publishers and operators who run other games in the region, so it's hard to make the determination that the industry in its entirety has weathered the disaster so well.

But if we go with the hypothesis that we can use CDC's experience as a population sampling, the tenacity of gaming in the face of such gut-dropping disaster is frankly stunning.

And honestly, I'm not sure whether to look at this hearteningly: The culture of gaming is so vital to the Chinese people that it endures stunning devastation, possibly even acting as a spiritual salve in a dark period - or with alarm: Over 67 thousand people are confirmed dead (and those are just the ones whose bodies have been found), and people are grinding for new armor.

Honest question: Testament to the power and beauty of the human imagination? Or spectacle of the fierceness of detachment?

[Image credit The Seattle Times]

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