Virtual world? Social MMO? Virtual semi-instanced gathering place? Whatever.

As I’ve covered social MMOs (or worlds, or games or whatever the shit you wanna’ call it) like Second Life I can always count on at least one or two players chiming in to tell me that I am using the wrong term to describe the game in question.

“Second Life is a WORLD, asshole, not a GAME!”

“IMVU is a virtual WORLD? Seriously? It’s just a bunch of connected rooms!”

OK, this will be my attempt to clear this up, but of course I know that my readers do not always make it this blog. So, *sigh* I’ll have to answer this concern some more I’m sure. Anyway, when I say “virtual world MMO” or “social MMO” you can get a pretty good idea about how the game works. Even then, there are games within these games and a million different activities that players are participating in. So I just use the term “game” and let the rest of the article or video explain. I know, that’s a crazy concept: asking the reader to READ my article or to watch a video so they can see for themselves.

You know what usually happens? They concentrate on the one or two times I use the “incorrect” term to describe their favorite MMO and ignore the fact that I have written 1200 words and recorded an hour long video that describes the game. World.

Shit, whatever.

As I’ve written more and more (almost 800k words on Massively alone at this time) I’ve discovered that most of the people who actually comment on my stuff want nothing to do with trying something out or using their common sense when it comes to a new title. They want to be told what the game IS, HOW it works, and EXACTLY what to expect. Instead of downloading a new title and trying it out for themselves, they would rather try and tell me how wrong I am.

This is why we have such a shitty AAA selection of MMOs. Gamers jump into the newest title because they are told exactly what to expect. No need to explore new titles… just watch the new trailer for the latest hot game and buy into it.

OK, OK, being general there… but I can’t stand when someone ASKS me to clarify something that can be found out in about 30 minutes or less. “How does this game play?” “Is this a WORLD or just a chat room?”

Download it and CHECK. Shit. It’s FREE.

Anyway, social MMO? World? Chat room? Virtual meeting place? I’m so sick of worrying about titles. Even in titles that seem to offer a really small number of activities there is almost an endless number of activities. Why? because we’re adding in the player factor. Real players in a virtual world will act as wacky and do just as many different things as people in real life will, within the confines of the games abilities, of course. Real people always throw a kink into the works.

So, an MMO’s title is really just the beginning. An introduction, like “space themed” or “a Western fable.” But NEVER take that as some sort of proof that you know what to expect. Download it. Try it out.

And please stop correcting me when I call Second Life a “game” for SHITS SAKE.






Author: Beau Hindman

I write for a living, which means that I sit around in my PJs all day. I love it.