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一位游戏上瘾者的自白

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小编摘要:一位游戏上瘾者的自白,讲述他为什么对一款名为“城市小镇”的游戏痴迷......

城市小镇扩张图

 

 

现在休息片刻。
I'm taking a break.
就在刚才,我花几分钟时间收割了庄稼,建立了几家小企业,收了租,并且雇佣了几个Facebook的朋友在我的社区大厅里工作——这是因为上个月,我加入了“城市小镇”(CityVille)游戏的玩家大军。“城市小镇”是社交游戏公司Zynga出品的一款城市建造模拟游戏,自从它面世以来,Facebook的用户经常会看到这样的好友动态:“JP需要甜甜圈来喂饱饥饿的警察!”或是“JP需要鸟食来喂鸽子!”
Right about now, I take a few minutes to harvest crops, put up several small businesses, collect rent, and hire Facebook friends to work at community halls. That's because last month, I joined the legions on CityVille, the city-building simulation game from Zynga that annoys Facebook users with News Feed updates like, "JP needs donuts to feed hungry cops!" or "JP needs bird seed to feed pigeons!!"
上次我曾在《财富》杂志的网站里坦承自己是个狂热的、喜欢用photoshop修照片的Facebook迷。不过我这次的自白甚至比上一次更加难为情。当时许多读者都认同“想要被喜欢”这个概念。然而如果你告诉别人,你是个“城市小镇”迷的话,这就好比你当众宣告自己是小甜甜布兰妮的粉丝一样,恐怕很难算得上是一件给自己长脸的事。
Confessing as much by way of Fortune.com is even more embarrassing than the time I came out as a feverish, freaky-deaky photo-shopping Facebook addict. While many readers at the time identified with the notion of wanting to be liked, telling someone you're a CityVille fan seems as dubious a distinction as announcing yourself a Britney Spears fan.
得知我是“城市小镇”迷后,我最好的朋友盯着我说道:“如果你让我也加入那个游戏,我就把你拉黑。”虽然说这话的时候,她的脸上挂着笑容,不过我能感觉到她并不是在开玩笑。同事们的反应也大同小异,要么面无表情地盯着我,要么就是腹诽一番,然后说上一句“哦,不错啊”之类的话(翻译过来就是“怪人”。)
"If you ask me to join, I'll block you," my best friend mused. She said this with a smile, but I got the sense she wasn't joking. Reactions from some colleagues were similar, from blank stares to silent judgment, followed by something like, "Oh, good for you." (Translation: "freak.")
我并不怪他们。作为传统单机游戏的铁杆玩家,我一向是避免玩休闲游戏的。当然,我曾写过关于休闲游戏的文章,甚至在某种程度上对它表示尊敬——因为任何能吸引新玩家的游戏都是好游戏——不过我从来没有真正理解休闲游戏是怎么回事,直到几周前,我第一次玩到“城市小镇”。
I don't blame them. As a hardcore traditional console gamer, I used to avoid casual gaming. Oh, sure, I wrote about it, and even respected it to an extent -- any kind of gaming that brings in new players is a good thing -- but I never really got it until my first chance encounter with CityVille a few weeks ago.
当时我还写了一篇关于设计师陈音凯(音)的文章。这位设计师花了超过12年的时间设计真实世界里的建筑,不过现在,他却在为“城市小镇”设计虚拟住宅。要想更好地了解陈音凯的成就,唯一的方法就是试玩一下这款游戏——当然,问题是我一直没停下来。
That's when I wrote a story about Yick Kai-Chan, the game's resident architect who spent over 12 years designing buildings in the real world but now designs all the virtual buildings in CityVille. To better understand Chan's achievements, it only made sense to give his work a spin -- of course, the problem is I never stopped.
总之,我每天至少要在我的虚拟小城上花一小时的时间。一开始的时候,我经历了游戏的各个奇妙的环节,似乎被无限膨胀的宿命感所笼罩了——从一颗庄稼开始,打造有史以来最大的、能自我发展的虚拟社区,似乎是上帝赐给我的神圣权利!
Altogether, I spend at least an hour a day on my virtual city. When it first started, I went through fugue-like gaming sessions, seemingly struck by this inflated, screwed up sense of manifest destiny -- it was my god-given right to build the largest self-sustaining virtual community possible one corn crop at a time!
没过多久,相对较慢的免费模式就满足不了我了,于是我打破了自己的另一条“铁律”,购买了价值5美元的虚拟商品,好让游戏进度快一些。当然,5美元并不算什么,不过这就像一个无药可救的瘾君子,嘴上说自己只嗑了1克药,事实上却嗑了5克。
And not long after, dissatisfied with the relatively slow progress enabled by the game's free mode, I broke another self-imposed cardinal rule and bought $5 worth of virtual goods to speed things up. Granted, it wasn't much, but that's like a lapsed drug addict saying he only had one gram of narcotics as opposed to five.
悲哀,悲哀,悲哀啊。
Sad, sad, sad.
这实在太令人难为情了,因为我曾经发过誓,这一天永远不会到来。我从小就是传统单机游戏的忠实玩家,从1989年的第一款Game Boy掌机开始,美国境内销售过的所有游戏机我几乎都有收藏。我曾花费数千小时的时间,一遍又一遍地打Boss、过任务、刷数据、找新功能,使我的技术变得更厉害——玩家们把这个过程叫做“磨刀”。
It's all sorts of embarrassing because I swore to myself this day would never come. Growing up a hardcore traditional gamer, I've owned almost every gaming console released stateside since the first Game Boy in 1989. I've logged thousands of hours doing what we gamers call "grinding," engaging in redundant gameplay mechanics like boss battles or driving on the same courses over and over to up our stats, unlock features, and make ourselves more competitive.
作为一个游戏的纯粹主义者,我原来最喜欢的就是由高性能的硬件创造出几乎无限个抗锯齿多边形(3D制图的建筑模快),以产生震撼的视觉效果,然后把有15个按钮的振动控制器连接到一块大平板屏幕上。不过,自从我成了“城市小镇”的玩家后,我一度热爱的Wii、Playstation 3和Xbox 360游戏都被打入了“冷宫”,在我的平板电视底下,落满了灰尘。
As a gaming purist, I wanted high performance hardware spitting out zillions of anti-aliased polygons (the building blocks of 3-D graphics) for impressive eye candy and vibrating controllers with 15 buttons all hooked up to a big flat screen. Yet, here I am a CityVille player while my once-beloved game consoles -- a Wii, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360 -- rest under my flat screen gathering dust.
不知不觉间,我的生活重心也已经发生了变化。我再也没有那么多的闲暇时光和耐心了。在我十几岁的时候,我可以花大把的时间玩最新款的游戏。另外归功于大学的长班教学(block scheduling)制度,上大学的时候,我在白天也有同样长的时间,用来玩《侠盗猎车手》(Grand Theft Auto)等游戏。
Without my knowing it, my priorities had changed. I don't have the same free time and patience. When I was a teen, I could devote chunks of time to playing the latest console release, and thanks to block scheduling in college, I had equally long stretches during the day to dedicate to games like Grand Theft Auto.
不过现在情况变了。并不是说我现在没有闲暇时间了,只是现在的闲暇时间没有以前那么多了。我想这就是为什么休闲游戏会大受欢迎,因为他既吸引了那些“非玩家”,也吸引了铁杆玩家。休闲游戏没有什么华丽的视觉效果,玩法也并不复杂。(任天堂Game Boy游戏机1998年的色彩效果大概就能带动《城市小镇》,而不会有什么问题。)
That's not the case anymore, which is not to say I don't have free time, I just don't have as much as I used to. And I think that's why casual gaming has taken off, both with people who don't call themselves "gamers" and hardened gaming vets. The genre doesn't offer gorgeous graphics or complex gameplay. (Far from it, actually. Nintendo's Game Boy Color circa 1998 could probably handle CityVille in some form without a problem.)
不过这并不是重点。对于一个拇指长茧、时间充裕的老玩家来说,玩《侠盗猎车手》可能是件很有乐趣的事。不过对于游戏菜鸟或是时间很紧的人(比如我)来说,像“城市小镇”这样简单的游戏可以让用户见缝插针地趁闲暇时间玩上几分钟,他们不需要游戏说明,也不需要接受什么指导,而等他们离开游戏时却仍然充满成就感。这种游戏更加平易近人——而且它还是免费的。
That's not really the point. Playing Grand Theft Auto might be fun for a thumb-callused gamer with ample free time, but for newbies or even just gamers with tight schedules like me, something like CityVille in all its simplicity lets users wade in at their leisure, no manual or tutorial required, for a few minutes, then walk away feeling like they made some serious headway. It's so much more accessible – oh, and it's free.
它的画质给力吗?不。它的玩法有创意吗?它是否是完全原创的,或是具有创新性?答案都是否定的。但它却出奇的简单有趣。
Is it graphically ambitious? Nah. Does it have innovative gameplay? What about being wholly original and innovative? Nope and nope. But they are incredibly simple and fun.
这种方法显然是有效的。《城市小镇》打破了所有的纪录,成了有史以来最大的在线游戏,它的月度活跃用户高达9200万人,几乎是全世界所有休闲游戏玩家人数(2亿人)的一半。Zynga公司也受益匪浅。据报道,该公司平均每天的销售额达到100万美元,去年该公司的营收达到6亿美元。
The approach is obviously working. CityVille broke all sorts of records to become the biggest online game ever with 92 million active monthly users, nearly half of the 200 million casual gamers around the world. And Zynga isn't hurting. The company reportedly makes over $1 million in sales a day and pulled in $600 million last year.
所以当我告诉人们,这些天我正在玩《城市小镇》的时候,即便有人投来鄙夷的目光,那也没什么。因为显然我并不孤单。
So when I tell people what I'm playing these days and I get judgmental looks, that's OK. Clearly, I'm not alone.
1
2011-03-31 08:57 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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