So I’ve been stuck in a 5X5 cubicle for the last few months, working on a game for my thesis. The hours have been long, the lighting dim, the PopTen posts infrequent at best.
But I have come back bearing gifts, in the form of the spectacular time-waster, an online gladiatorial combat simulator called MyBrute.
What’s so great about MyBrute? For me, an Interactive Media grad student who’s been studying game mechanics for the past three years, its precisely the fact that its NOT a game. You type in a name, you give your character a cool haircut, then you get them into a fight and watch 30 seconds of melodrama unfold.
And you know what? It’s awesome. For a few minutes, you love that little Brute. You yell at them when they throw their weapons away and go bare-knuckle against an armored amazon. You cheer when they dodge a hammer blow and return fire with their ninja stars. You watch them grow and gain new abilities, and even though you’re not doing a damn thing except pitting them against fighters with especially douche-chilling names (e.g.: Art of Erection, Buttlinda), you feel invested.
Sometimes, less is more. Because its both random and visceral, MyBrute serves many functions: its a pet, a social site, even a horoscope: when you start a day by watching a surprise come-from-behind victory, you know things will go ok. As an added bonus, we in the IMD have found that mano-a-mano Brute fights are WAY superior to rock-paper-scissors in deciding personal arguments.
It’s a roll of the dice… but hey, its entertainment. I’ll see you in the ring: http://jamie-antonisse.mybrute.com.