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Is MMO dead for you?



  • StrayfeStrayfe Member UncommonPosts: 199

    There are two ways to interpret this question and depending on which way you choose, you get two different answers. 

    One interpretation, likely the one being used by the people voting No: 

    Taken literally, "MMOs" are not dead, nor will they likely ever be.  Video games have been around in earnest for about 40 years now.  Show me a genre that has existed, been popular, and actually died, as in you can't find a reasonably popular game of that genre anymore.  The mediums we experience the genres in change, the fidelity of the graphics improve, the bells and whistles are upgraded, and things are moved here and there, borrowed from other genres and mediums, but no genre of game has actually died, nor is it likely to.

    What is a MOBA?  It's not its own genre.  It's a simplified RTS, which is itself, a twitch-based, micro-intensive and active computer Strategy game.  Strategy games have been around for thousands of years, beginning with ancient board games, and things like Chess.  Is Chess dead?  Certainly not.

    The real interpretation, and what people who ask and respond to this question should really be asking themselves: Is the original spirit of MMORPGs dead?  Those who interpret the question this way are going to be the ones voting yes.

    MMORPGs evolved from RPGs, which owe much of their conventions and birth to Dungeons & Dragons.  D&D was the first truly popular "gamification" of the Fantasy fiction literary genre.  With D&D, suddenly people who enjoyed losing themselves in the works of Tolkien and other contemporary Fantasy authors who borrowed heavily from him in moving the genre forward, had their own rules and framework to make their own adventures and bring characters of their own to life.

    Now, whether you will admit it or not, there was (and still is to some extent) a rather glaring stigma against D&D players, and sci-fi/fantasy fans, who were mostly viewed as nerds, outsiders and socially inept individuals who lost themselves in Fantasy worlds because they couldn't handle interaction or success in the real world.  Obviously, that doesn't tell the whole story, but stereotypes exist for a reason, and I believe it is fair to say that the average D&D player was not a social butterfly.

    Still D&D players, and as the genre of the "Fantasy game" moved forward, RPG players and then MMORPG players, were, for a long time, a tight knit group of people who shared commonalities with each other far more often than with the general public because of this stigma.  The original designers of MMORPGs and the original MMORPG players were either part of this group, or gradual converts.  So you had a genre of game that was originally designed by a stigmatized group of people, targeted TO a stigmatized group of people. 

    In the early days, MMORPGs were very tight knit games because they were an extreme niche, filled mostly with players who were most likely really kind and awesome people, but far more comfortable and eager to socialize behind a computer screen than in real life and the game systems and spirit of all the early MMORPGs reflected that closeness and community that older MMORPGs gamers, like me, swear up and down that we can't find again.

    At the same time, during the beginnings of the MMORPG genre, when the internet was in its infancy, MMORPGs were really one of the best and even one of the only ways of socializing online.  There were no social networks, no voice chat programs, limited exchange of pictures and video in chat rooms and over programs like AIM, because internet speeds couldn't support it, and so the concept of being able to actually make friends with others who had the same interests as you, when, perhaps you weren't as good at meeting people in person as others, was revolutionary and people embraced it.

    Now the world is saturated with social networks, MMORPGs, MOBAs, voice chat programs, cooperative and competitive games, information at the touch of a fingertip no matter where you are, and most people are in CONSTANT contact with other people.

    So the original spirit of the MMORPG is dead.  It's mostly because the proliferation and the saturation of the genre, which began with World of Warcraft, brought in so many people who were not the close-knit, niche players of the originals like Everquest and Ultima Online.  MMORPGs became an 'everyone' thing.  At the same time, social networks blossomed like weeds on the internet and the entire generation became about being connected with as many people as possible at all times. 

    The reason there is no "community" in MMORPGs and no virtual worlds being made anymore, is because hardly anyone goes to an MMORPG to socialize.  The audience for the genre is now "everybody."  John Q. Public wants to play a game, not a world.  If they wanted to talk to their friends, they'd call them on the phone, or tweet at them, or like them on Facebook, or have a video chat on Skype. 

    They're not going to go through an avatar and roleplay in a fantasy world to do so.

  • carotidcarotid Member UncommonPosts: 425
    Holy crap! Some of you WAY overthink this stuff.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    carotid said:
    Holy crap! Some of you WAY overthink this stuff.

    Welcome to the internet.

    BTW, the "yes" vote is now up to 49% ... talking about disagreement ... this is as split as you can get. 
  • EncephalitisEncephalitis Member UncommonPosts: 78
    voted yes
    mmo's are dead, in my opinion.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    voted yes
    mmo's are dead, in my opinion.
    Awesome! You just make the poll 50-50 now.

    Is the "MMO is dead" yes-camp going to edge out and win? Inquiring minds want to know!
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