MMORPGs… Do you know the love?
As the worlds of MMORPG’s grow, and the players, games, items, adventures, and quests multiply, and the worldwide community is shocked as addicted MMO players cause mayhem to the workforce, their kids, and addict support groups, one has to ask ‘What is so darn addicting about these games?’ For non-MMORPG players, there’s no way to know or understand the true depth of the relationship between a gamer and his MMO; however, for the rest of us, we all know that MMORPG’s fill a void in our lives; a hole that most people fill in other ways.
A) There are always people around in MMORPGs— Sure, they’re not all nice. Many of them are rude, cruel, annoying, and downright obnoxious. But you will never be alone in one of these games. Even though in real life you are a 45 year old single lawyer who sleeps in an empty apartment day after day, in your MMORPG, you have friends… or at least people you can hassle.
B) Unlike real life, MMORPG’s have obtainable goals— Yes, yes, yes… life has obtainable goals too, but is it really so easy? In order to get a raise, you need to kiss ass for two years. In an MMORPG, you have to sit at your computer and hit some buttons for an hour. Not to mention, there are no “unattainable” goals in the MMO world… only really hard enemies.
C) Even sheep have bling— No one knows why sheep and many other animal/monster types in MMO’s are independently wealthy. In fact, even though in most MMORPG’s money and cool items don’t grow on trees; they still seem to be held by animals. If you’re broke, the easiest way to solve the problem is whack a few hundred boars. But in real life, killing a hundred boars would not only be disgusting, but probably wouldn’t pay for the cost of your bullets.
D) You can’t fail— Even though in real life you can fail horribly (get fired, divorced, dumped, beaten, bullied, teased, harmed, hassled, and even killed) you can’t in MMO’s. Sure, you may have to run to your body to resurrect, or maybe jog back and redo the whole quest over again. But at least in MMORPG’s, when you screw up, there is always round two. Or three… or eighteen.
And the reason people love and get addicted to MMORPG’s the most is…
E) You are who you wish you were— If I want to be a voluptuous woman of twenty four, an old wealthy accountant, or tiny specimen of child-based advertising, I can be that. And you could too. For all intents and purposes, you are who you want to be. Does it make the world community uneasy? You bet. But the only real truth about MMO’s and this is a real deep one: who you wish to be is who you are. And who you really are doesn’t matter; no one in those worlds is real, and so everyone there is equal. No one will ever judge you because of it.
So what does all this mean to the business world? The FPS players? The stay at home moms?
It means that there is a portion of the international community that is missing something from their lives and filling it with a game; but wait… aren’t we all missing something?