I read this over at Massively today “The Soapbox: Classism and the oxymoron of the casual MMO“.
I’ve always been kind of harsh on the “hardcore” gamers myself. Mostly because it does seem like an elitist way to be and elitism is just not something I hang with. This post however showed another side to the hardcore MMO enthusiasts that really hit home for me.
In my opinion, the real issue here has nothing to do with classism and everything to do with a nerd pastime going mainstream and subsequently being stripped of what made it magical in the first place.
Why did this sentence bring me pause? Well quite simply this is how everyone has felt about anything that has ever gone mainstream. When fringe goes vogue everything about it becomes so generic and watered down. Really things have to be just so that people will like them.
I really see where Jef was going with this. There are a lot of games out there that are pretty two dimensional. Flashy graphics or including all the gotchas doesn’t really make an MMO into something that has depth. It can make it a fun game to play though, and in the end that’s what most people pay for.
What makes an MMO something more than “just a game” involves more than epic raids, balanced PvP or intricate crafting. MMO’s can become a home away from home. They can become a second society (no pun on Second Life there).
To me it seems like there’s two kinds of MMO players. There are people that play MMO’s because they love the multi player aspect and they love being a part of something bigger than a one person gaming experience. Then of course there’s folks that maintain a single person view throughout the whole game and are really only interested in what they can get out of the game, not what they can become part of within it.
But hey maybe in time the folks now flooding MMO’s from the traditional single player game formats will come to appreciate what MMO’s can be when viewed from a perspective of “One for all and all for one” as opposed to the perspective of “gimme”.
Just my 2 chips on it, take it or leave it.