That First Step Into RMT…

Jorge Luis Borges is quoted as saying or writing the following: “A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”

I experienced something new recently that I sometimes find myself feeling at odds with. I’m currently waiting for the results of an email interview I sent to the folks at OffGamers regarding their practices and what they do – they’re a third party RMT and game service site – besides selling game codes, game time cards, and virtual services.

During the wait, I found out that EA had redzoned my country as well to an extent I didn’t expect. Our local game shop has connections to EA, and even they got redzoned and wouldn’t be getting copies of SWTOR.

I felt left out of the Twitter circle, and I missed playing SWTOR after the beta. I didn’t know what to do, and eventually, I ended up running to OffGamers and purchasing a game code. A day later, my account with them had the key from the game, and thirty minutes after getting the key from the game, I found myself purchasing and acquiring a 60-day time code because EA wouldn’t accept my credit card.

The feeling of doing something you never thought you’d do is kind of painful. For a person like myself, who doesn’t drink alcoholic beverages to avoid the possibility of getting drunk, it felt like I had taken that first step into dealing with illicit RMT. I felt that uneasiness, even if OffGamers has perfectly legitimate services and connections to various F2P game companies across Asia and offers users of the site a means to purchase a game company’s currency of choice for their extra services.

I find myself wondering if I did a bad thing or a value neutral thing. At the very least, I cannot think of an RMT user anymore in the old ways I used to. I invested money to acquire a return on time. Instead of illicit RMT where I purchase power-leveling or in-game currency, I paid money to get access to a game I would not see for months to come… and at the same time, I did it for the same reason some people would engage in illicit RMT to begin with: to have fun with friends at the same level and capabilities they have.

Honestly, I have to think about it more. There are so many facets to this idea I haven’t even considered, but I know I’m lucky to even be in a position to enjoy games, when other people are worse off. But I just needed to get it off my chest or I’d feel bad till the end of the year.

An Advanced Announcement: Victor Stillwater on

Those of you who know or follow me on Twitter or on this blog have some idea that I used to write for a little-known games website back in the day. Ever since that time, I’ve always wanted to get back into paid writing related to video games, and I finally have that opportunity.

Later, at 9 am EST, I’ll have my first official full-named byline under a video game column for (It’s funny how I’ve never actually used my full name on an online article since I started writing). I’ll be taking over the writing of their Devil’s Advocate column from here on out, and I hope it’ll be a long-running column with them.

With the Devil’s Advocate column, I have an opportunity to expose people to unpopular or otherwise unrepresented points of view. The first column, which I wrote some three odd weeks ago, will talk about regional restrictions as it pertains to video games, specifically SWTOR, in the hopes that people can understand different sides of the discussion related to regional restrictions.

I’ll be monitoring comments for the first hour or so prior to my doing some work, so if you leave a comment during that time, I’ll do my best to get back to you.

Of course, I’ll still be writing here, but I do hope you’ll check out the column as well.

A Little Book Geekery: Koji Suzuki Penning New Ring Book

When I was in college, I was fascinated by a Japanese horror movie called Ring. I found out this movie, which spawned American versions, was based on a Japanese book series. I bought those books and I loved them intensely.

I had almost forgotten about my love affair with Sadako and the Ring Trilogy (quadrilogy if you count Birthday) when a recent announcement on the Anime News Network had me foaming at the mouth in a good way.

Koji Suzuki, author of the Ring novels, is making a new book to add to the series, called S. With this book, Sadako returns, apparently. Instead of videotapes, however, the supposed transmission method for the curse is cloud computing, which is an absolutely delcious concept.

I look forward to reading this novel when it comes out, preferably before I die from a metastatic cancer virus outbreak (a little Ring novel humor there, nevermind). Cheers!