Massive Online What?
Dec 15, 2006 14:46:12

The term 'MMORPG' is a poor name for the games we play, but it got attached many years ago and it seems to have stuck. Unfortunately, the names we use to classify our favorite games is not up to the task any longer. We need something better. Here is what we have now:

MMORPG - Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game

MMOG - Massively Multiplayer Online Game

MOG - Massive Online Game

MMO - Short form of the first two

MMP - Massively Multi-Player

These are all flawed and damaged by their length and lack of description of "what it is". Right now we call Dofus, MapleStory, WoW and Second Life by these titles, but those offerings are very different beasts. I've had many conversations with Erik from Granite Games on this subject and we both believe we need some titles that let gamers know what they're going to get if they play it. When you hear about a First Person Shooter (Unreal, Halo, Quake) or Real Time Strategy (Starcraft, Warcraft III, Supreme Commander) or Action RPG (Diablo) or Adventure (Dreamfall) or Role Playing Game (Knights of the Old Republic, Oblivion) you have a pretty solid idea of what to expect.

When you see the MMORPG tag on something you could be in for a surprise/disappointment. If I was a DAoC player standing aroung in GameStop and decided to buy Dofus (of course it isn't actually on shelves, but bear with me) because it said MMORPG on it, I'd probably be a very irritated gamer once I got it home. Of course, someone needs to remedy this, and I highly doubt SOE, Turbine, Blizzard, Mythic or anyone else are going to venture out on a limb (and the last frazzled nerve of their marketing department) to try to establish a new game acronym. So, as usual it is up to us, the community, to fix this problem. After hours of listing keywords and rearranging letters we have yet to come up with a solid idea for what these games should be called and perhaps how they should be subclassified. Huxley, EverQuest and Secondlike need different classifications. At the moment we call them MMOFPS, MMORPG, and STEAMINGPILEOFCRAP for short. These work, but they're not ideal for a variety of reasons. Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter is a descriptive mouthful and seems to work ok, but too many titles are lumped into the MMORPG category. Second Life is another kind of system altogether and had more in common with MySpace and Habbo Hotel than it does with its MMO cousins.

This means we need some better categories for our beloved MMOs. But what? I've spent hour after hour banging my head against a wall trying to come up with the right terms. I've made lists of words that represent the genre and sub-genres and flipped them around a million different ways with little success. It needs to be brief, it needs to be obvious and it needs to be descriptive. Here are some of the example words that come in handy.

Core description:Qualities:Contains:Misc:
Environment
Game
World
Community
Dimension
Persistence
Massive Population
Social
Endless
Adventures
Players
Avatars
Fantasy
Sci-fi
Quests
Dungeons
Virtual
Online
Network
Multiplayer
Action
Roleplaying
Building


Here are some very crappy examples I came up with. I'm hoping some jumble genius out there can do much much better.

OPVAE - Persistent Online Virtual Adventuring Environment

ABPE - Avatar Based Persistant Environment

MOAW - Multiplayer Online Adventuring World

AQD - Avatar Quest Dimension

VFC - Virtual Fantasy Community

MPAG - Massive Persistent Adventure Game

FPG - First Person Grinder

Submitted by Brent on Dec 15, 2006 14:46:12 CST (comments: 4)


Comments:


'MMOG!' by Michael
Submitted on 2006-12-15 16:49:12 CST
We all know what should be used. ;)

M - M - O - G is the most descriptive, and accurate, of the options.

While you brought up the subject, I find "MMOs" and "toons" to be really quite annoying. That extra syllable is too hard? And they're Avatars, dangit!

/crotchety whine



'Automate!' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2006-12-15 16:52:00 CST
You should put together an automated game type generator.

In the meantime I'll take a first person grinder with cheese, a side of those chili fries, and a coke!



'Avatar,,,no... im a minotaur.' by Joel
Submitted on 2007-01-15 14:53:36 CST
I never truely liked the word avatar. The idea was that an avatar was an earthly manifistation of a deity (the source of the word was the hindu religion I belive so it was usualy Vishnu). It worked its way into the common speach through its use in metaphors refering to things that embody the ideals of a particular archetype or stereotype (IE that sherrif was the avatar of racism). But this new definition seems to be just too ... i dont know... pretentious for me. I am not a God... you are not a God... we all whipe our bums and put on our pants one leg at a time. Thus my WoW character is not my avatar... its my freekin character.


'ummm...' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-01-15 15:08:40 CST
Joel, you clearly haven't read Snowcrash.

I also recommend accepting the fact that words can have multiple meanings and that they can evolve over time.

And, just so you know, everyone who posts here is a (self proclaimed) god, so you just offended us all and someone will likely smite you before the day is out unless you join the club real quick.

/wink




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