QOTD: Virtual Worlds

The “G” in MMORPG is the one letter we could do without. I’m not here to play games. I’m here to see worlds. (Bhagpuss)

I don’t do quote-of-the-day posts often, in fact this is maybe the second time ever on MMO Gypsy. That’s weird considering how much I love words and quotes but the reason is probably that QOTDs don’t create discussion. They do however spread words worth spreading and that is one hell of a quote-worthy statement right there. Happy Monday, all ye MMO world travelers!


  1. Except they’re still games, even if you focus on the world parts. You still have game design and game mechanics.

    I mean, if we’re going to dissect modern MMORPGs, they really don’t live up to any of the letters except maybe the first “M” and the “O” by default. The solo-focus means that multiplayer is virtually absent and I barely see any role-playing anymore, even the “eateth roasteth pigeth n stuff” variety.

    I like a well-designed world as much as the next person, but without game mechanics most people would lose interest quickly.

    1. Yeah, I have written a post myself on the whole MM and RP bits after all. I guess the issue I have is, games or not, MMORPGs are becoming more and more like traditional games, paying less and less tribute to creative and sim aspects. I think it’s an interesting question how much ‘game’ is really in a Skyrim, or Minecraft or LOTRO in comparison to games of the respective genres. These are all very popular games, so I’d like to think there’s quite a big margin by which successful MMOs can still be more or less ‘gamey’?

  2. +1 vote for games. It’s bloody marvelous that we can have games in worlds though. I do empathise somewhat with Bhagpuss; the teleporty rush to cap in GW2 is impossible to resist, unless you’re on your own maybe. But the MM ruins that. Are there any good letters left? Even the ‘s’ at the end has probably caused more trouble than it’s worth.

    Devs should generate random character strings, think of what it stands for then just make that. ZQKJXs may be tricky though.

  3. Thanks for the quote-love. I was snapping at Gevlon for being Gevlon. I’m not usually that pithy!

    I do believe we could do largely do without the “game” element in MMOs. The idea that everything is better if you make a game of it has colonized many aspects of life, generally to their detriment in my opinion. I rarely play any kind of games – not sports, not board games, not word games or card games, nor offline or single-player computer games. I’m really not very interested in gaming of any kind. As an occasional diversion, sure, but given the choice between doing the washing up or playing a board game after Christmas lunch, for example, I’d be the one asking where the rubber gloves are.

    There’s an almost infinite range of activities that people do for amusement and entertainment and satisfaction that aren’t games: knitting, woodcarving, gardening, scrapbooking, making model railway layouts, cloud-watching, juggling, dancing, listening to music, performing music and so on and on and on. Any and all of them could have virtual analogues and once we move into fantasy settings we can add in a whole lot more that can’t be done in meatspace.

    I don’t consider most of the things I do in MMOs to be games even now. Killing monsters to get things they own isn’t a game – it’s my character’s means of subsisting in his environment. Collecting shinies isn’t a game – it’s collecting (and I never heard any collector describe building their collection as “a game” – most take it far more seriously than that). Building and decorating a house or a castle, crafting a boat to sail, running an in-game business, traveling to taking screenshots, finding ways to reach inaccessible areas – none of these are “games” as far as I understand the term.

    I’d like to see immensely detailed virtual worlds in which it’s possible to undertake a very wide range of activities. If others want to make games out of those activities that’s fine. You can make a game out of walking to work and some people do. That just means making things into games is on of the activities.

  4. I will agree to this. While I never liked sims as a game, I play my MMOs that way. The first thing I care on MMOs is how my character looks. Puting a beatiful armor set as a carrot is much more effective to me than item levels and stats. So I guess i am a collector too. I also like the game to have a living virtual world with great music. Nothing beats Lotro to this and wow is not far away, or at least the old wow.

    I think music plays a big part of the virtual world and i remember a post you made about it Syl. I really think the music in lotro and wow are excellent and is what creates the emotions when you visiting places.

    I am on the same boat as you, I want virtual worlds with lots of activities..I specifically love a very deep crafting system, with professions that will not only impact the gear but will also create activities too..decorating a house, making music instruments, creating music and be able to sell it to others so they can use it and perform that music..I want a virtual world where I will have to do lot of stuff that are not directly related to fighting enemies or killing bosses, but i also like it to have lore..not in the style of swtor, linear/cutscene stories, but in the style of lotro and wow..world need to be full of lore and let player to go and search for it, not throw it to their face

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