Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Parlimentary Forum

Things have been quieter than usual on the blog as PVD headquarters relocated across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom.  Thanks to Spinks and Roger from Contains Moderate Peril for answering some random questions about telecommunications as I got ready for the move.  I suppose I should be dreading whatever Blizzard is going to demand that I do to verify my identity the next time I try to use my account, but otherwise things here are going relatively smoothly.  Server maintenance and developer events are most likely going to land on inconvenient hours in this time zone, but I knew that going in and I guess someone always ends up with the short end of the stick.

Amongst various British customs that I find amusing, the British Prime Minister regularly holds live televised Q+A sessions with the British House of Commons.  It's oddly like the MMO forums.  The people asking the questions are not afraid to phrase a complaint in the form of a question, to include random and obscure issues that have nothing to do with the rest of the conversation.  The PM, like a good MMO community team member, is going to give answers that make his government look good regardless of whether he agrees or anything is going to change.  They don't appear to have image macros, response memes, and leet speak, but I suspect this is only because those hadn't been invented at the time of the Magna Carta. 

I don't know whether this means that MMO forums are more respectable than I realized, or the British Parliament is less so. 


  1. Welcome to the UK! Hope you like rain...

    "...MMO forums are more respectable than I realized, or the British Parliament is less so..."

    It's probably a bit better than when we let the Kings & Queens actually run things, but the House of Parliament is basically the monkey enclosure at a zoo. If they let the monkeys have booze...

  2. Welcome to this side of the pond! So, if you sign up for any new region-locked MMOs, are you going to pick the US or EU servers? :P

  3. Haha, great analogy. Question time in the Australian Parliament is the same, and even includes temp bans for questioners that don't follow the forum rules, who can get thrown out of the House for an hour. Have you seen that happen in the UK?

  4. Welcome to our live re-enactment of a 1960s dystopian disaster novel, a John Christopher, most likely. . I believe we are currently somewhere around Chapter 3, where the protagonist (that's you) starts to comment on the unusually severe and prolonged weather conditions.

    As for MMOs you'll have no problems playing on US servers from here. I've often had worse pings on mainland Europe servers than ones in the US - I believe it has something to do with how the internet was originally configured...

  5. @Shintar: I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Marvel Heroes is global, the FFXIV EU servers (where I rolled last fall in preparation for the move) are effectively US servers, and I'm not going to re-start anything that I've been playing for years. I definitely do NOT want to work with SOE's EU provider, other games I'd evaluate as I go.

    @Bhagpuss: Funny you mention the weather, the internet antenna was blown off the roof of the house last week. The ISP claims the winds right now are unprecedented and that the incident had nothing to do with their decision to hang an antenna the size of a small satellite dish from the existing TV aerial (which snapped under the additional weight).

  6. Prime Minister question time! Great political theater that, at least when watching some other country engage in it. That is what we would get if the Speaker of the House of Representatives was running the country rather than the President.

    I am not sure that it would make things any better here, but it sure would be more amusing. Our current President doesn't even let the press take pictures of him anymore, much less ask him unvetted questions in a public forum.

  7. @Wilhelm: And thus the philosophical question. Are we (voters in either country, MMO players) better off when people who have no power to change the outcome ask the tough (or sometimes inane) questions that the powers that be will not answer?

    In principle the answer is that you can note the refusal to answer and adjust your future votes/purchases accordingly. In practice, there are often enough other reasons why you made the choices you made in the past that going with the competition is not going to be a satisfactory alternative.


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