I play Living Arcanis…a lot. The campaign is persistent, so to track magic items and other rewards, pieces of paper with the item’s description are handed out at the end of a module. For example, if there is a magic sword, there is a single magic sword certificate (cert, in Arcanis slang) to represent it. The players decide amongst themselves who receives the cert. Previous to joining the campaign, I only played home-brew campaigns at home with my friends. Arcanis play tends to occur at conventions, so the tables are all adhoc. It is here I met the equipment whore for the first time.
I know greed exists, but I have never seen it applied to gaming. I met so many players that were more interested in accumulating certs than the game itself. It was some kind of strange penis-length contest. The whores compare their cert stacks and item values like two eight year-olds with Pokemon cards. Appalling.
It was not until much later when a friend pointed out that MMORPG games are probably contributing. Since I do not play games online, my friend patiently explained that the game is sometimes secondary to the character build and equipment list for some players. The game is a means to an end, namely the accumulation of more stuff.
Equipment is part of the game. When I was a kid, I dreamed of getting a “Rod of Lordly Might.” I thought a staff that could turn into a ladder or break down a door was cool beyond measure. Wanting a cool item for your character is natural, but gathering equipment for its own sake drives me to drink.
Equipment whores are detrimental to both my enjoyment of the game and the game as a whole. Sadly, I have no solution.