Thursday, October 1, 2009

MMO Segregation

Lately more and more bloggers and media sites have been trying to define and categorize the MMORPG genre. In a way I can understand. The desire to understand the types of games we love could potentially lead to a better understanding of making better games. However the more I think about it, the more I can’t help but wonder… what’s in a name?

Shakespeare once wrote “"What's in a name? That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet." This is a common phrase and I think it holds more ground here, in the hot bed of MMO defining discussions than in some places I’ve read it. No matter what World of Warcraft, Aion, or Warhammer Online are labeled as, they are still games that people enjoy to play. This new found zeal of the gaming community to accurately label the MMO genre seems misplaced.

I can’t help but think back to the ongoing Hardcore gamer versus Casual gamer debates that have been going on since the dawn of MMO gaming. Do we really need to define ourselves, our games, or our play style to make a game more enjoyable. Isn’t simply being “fun” enough anymore? I can’t help but wonder that with labels comes the segregation of games into genres. Do World of Warcraft and Darkfall really need to be in separate categories for either to be successful? In the words of Rodney King “can we all get along?”

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