A thought on MMOs

Part of the reason why MMOs bother me is that the settings of the MMO and the culture of the people playing it sometimes clash so painfully that it draws a person out of the game.  Imagine yourself in a woodland setting.  You’re a renegade knight, travelling the world for fame and fortune instead of honor and glory.  You spot a fellow adventurer battling a monster, and decide to help him ( while helping yourself to some of the monster’s loot in the process).  The battle is fierce, but short lived, and just before the monster makes a desperate lunge for your companion, you stabit in the belly, upon which glod an all sorts of interesting items pour forth from the wound.

Your companion looks almost shell shocked, and you chalk it up to shock.  He’ll thank you any minute now.  A message window appears on your monitor.  You smile.

“TANGINA MO NAMAN KILL-STEALER KA NAMAN EH AKIN YANG GOLD NA YAN SUMBONG KITA SA MGA ADMIN EH!”

Suddenly, you’re back in the third world and any immersion or suspension of disbelief is shattered by a foul mouthed 13 year old playing in a dark 10 peso an hour internet cafe.

The reason why good single player RPGs like the Elder Scrolls series are so great (apart from the obvious), is that everyone stays in character (naturally, since they’re AI).  You read fantasy novels to escape reality but you play fantasy games for a chance to live in a nother reality for a few hours, where demons and dragons are you bane, and not the workload your boss send to you via email.  That escape becomes shattered in an MMO because these are real people in the real world playing this game and they bring with them real world culture and values.  To me, this ruins the very essence of playing a game set in a fantasy world.

I don’t know how much fun I’d find playing an MMO similar to the real world, because I have a real life that I have to lead, and I’ll be fucked in the A before I pay someone coin to live another mundane life virtually.  The Sims is an entirely different concept of course, as it’s really fun because you’re playing god over such a human-like creature.

So what genre would make me play an MMO?  Maybe something playing off an alternate history, like if we were actually co opted by the Japanese and DMac (MacArthur) never came back.  Or something sci-fi but set in the very near future, so you could imagine that the culture would still be very similar but there’d be a few flying cars and strange gadgets around.  A story or genre that twists reality enough so it’d be interesting to play, but not so far out that if someone spoke in taglish I’d be annoyed.

To anyone making MMOs that reads this blog (Luna, are you guys making one?), go ahead and steal this idea.  Run with it.  Just give me free playing time ok?

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2 Responses to “A thought on MMOs”

  1. I considered playing MMOs a while back, but my periodic visits to my friend Thor’s Php 30 an hour internet cafe convinced me that whatever immersion in any fantasy world I would be playing in would be shortlived. These kids are ruthless! And, they rarely express themselves in coherent, grammatically acceptable sentences, whatever language they express themselves in. 🙂

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