Esotericism, The “Secret” World, and Free Stuff!
English and philosophy (especially philosophy) majors often whine about their job prospects after their formal years in post-secondary education. It’s a dreadful aspect when one asks who would need daily references to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics? If the seeds are not taken out, and the grape is eaten as a whole—yeah, philosophy is quite helpful in the bigger picture. Really, it is all about initiative application. Great example is this guy, Ragnar Tørnquist , who majored in English and philosophy, and is now a Norwegian game designer. He also coined the term, “modern adventure”. Without him, Dreamfall will not exist and adventure games would have probably dawdled in their classic click and point system.
With that said, creative director Ragnar Tørnquist has ensembled another mind-bending game, The Secret World. It was formaly known under the pseudonyms of Cabal and The World Online, but they have probably figured a better way to keep us guessing and that is titling it “The Secret World”. In reality, the developers have settled on The Secret World as its title because it suits the game’s focal intent. There really is no abstruse parti pris behind the title because it wholeheartedly explains and sums up the plot.
The environment is literally based out of our modern world, which includes but not limited to London, New York, and Seoul. The “secret” part scoots it when developers added the other half of this world, which is Hollow Earth. Popular in esotericism, Hollow Earth toys with the concept that there is a substantial interior space within the Earth’s core, and in various folklore, the underbelly of Earth is often associated with afterlife, such as Greek Hades, the Nordic svartalfheim, the Christian Hell, and the Jewish Sheol. Now the vision for The Secret World is complete. In the video-game, this would explain a heck-of-a lot why arcane monsters are running rampart across the real world.
Not to depreciate this game or anything, but it is the typical good vs. evil cliché plot. Tørnquist even said that the plot is heavily based on a “future war between good and evil.” No surprise there. In turn, philosophy prevails! It definitely provided Tørnquist a hefty helping hand in developing meaty plots for video-games. Let’s be real, as much as I love my philosophical inquiries and debates about this video-game’s title, I would rather much play the video-game itself, and what better way to play it than to play it for free!
Funcom released The Secret World a month ago, and for more celebratory gestures, Funcom has bestowed upon the world of MMORPG that they will make The Secret World free to play from August 3, Friday 5 p.m. EDT through August 7, Monday 3 a.m. EDT. Those who have remnants of their beta saved-file are able to jump and log-in right away, and those who have not jumped in The Secret World wagon will need to spare a few minutes creating an account and downloading the client.
A very strategic move from Funcom, they are surely investing all their coins on The Secret World because there is a lot of room for this MMORPG to expand; considering that the game’s environment has two universe: the fantasy world and the real world. Also, a week’s worth of free-play is not uncommon amongst MMORPG video-games, everyone is a witness to this after years of being exposed to World of Warcraft promotions. Let’s just hope Tørnquist added enough aesthetically-pleasing allegories to keep the players unraveling the game’s plot, and not confounding them.
Like free play is not enough for celebration, Funcom will also hand out free in-game fireworks, so now players can truly celebrate by lighting up the sky. Each character is allowed up to fifteen fireworks, which will only be available until the end of the weekend. There will also be a 30 mission challenge, and when these 30 missions are solved between August 3 and 7, then more power to the players because they will be rewarded with a special shirt for their character and 1200 bonus points to boot. So get playing, and watch out for the leaderboard which displays the top-100 players.
Dearest Funcom, are you doing the right thing by spoiling us with loads of gratuitous content for The Secret World? Well, we’ll just have to see, won’t we?