Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
In my earliest days of video game reporting, I witnessed the absurdity of a tank selling soap. Adult robot male and one-time editor of this website, Jim Rossingnol, thought it would be interesting to our readership if he sent an underprepared junior writer to a tank festival in Dorset, England, where Belarussian developer Wargaming had set up a dark shack full of computers running their free-to-play warfare game World of Tanks [official site]. Two months later, I was in a giant hangar in Kubinka, Russia, wondering what I had done to either merit or deserve the honour or dishonour of being surrounded by decommissioned Soviet war machines.
World of Tanks, the game itself, has always been a slightly-better-than-average arcade multiplayer war game. But it also has an attention to detail and loyalty to these death machines that I’ve long considered simultaneously admirable and unnerving. It also has an audience big enough to warrant large competitions. At one of these competitions I asked a visiting Belarussian citizen about their dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, and if there are ever any protests against him.
“We protest, yes,” said the Belarussian. “But in quiet voice.”
I guess what I’m trying to say, via the respected art form known as the Have You Played, is that World of Tanks, for me, isn’t that interesting, but some things that have happened because of it, have been, leaving me with a weird feeling of gratitude to a middling videogame. Anyway, it’s still free-to-play, if you’re into that sort of thing. Recently, the developers added battles of 30 v 30 tanks which is, let’s be honest, too many tanks.