So: the funny thing that nobody tells you about World of Warcraft is that your "screenshots" folder becomes like a family photo album, and things that felt ephemeral or daft over time gain significance.
So: this is me, around level 10, because I’ve just got the cat. He’s quite scrawny; I’m not exactly dripping in kit, but I was really proud of My First Pet, etc. And I found this this morning…
…as I took this picture, which is me today, wearing My First Mail Armor. The cat has grown up somewhat, and there’s a bit less manbull flesh on display. And: suddenly there’s progress; I can see what I came from, and I feel proud again (rather than like a failure for being such a slow/casual player).
Sometimes, you need to see the deltas, the comparisons, between where you were and where you are now. My screengrabs folder really is a family photo album for my avatar and my friends.
Greg Lexiphanic | 20 Apr 2009
The “screenshots as family photo album” idea is one that really fascinates me. I’d like to see more of this “historical reflection” online. It would give our usage a less ephemeral quality.
Also, I don’t think it’s something that is limited just to online gaming. I think it can be translated to other systems, such as our music listening habits as recorded by last.fm.
The ways we use things online nowadays means that everything is recorded and measured, seeing snapshots of that progress isn’t really possible. Indeed, many APIs probably allow this sort of thing NOW. Many of us have been using the Web for a loooong time so this historical data is now at a point where it might be useful/interesting.