Why do I play MMORPGs? I think about this question a lot. I see others like Graev playing console games and always having something new, fresh, and fulfilling to devour. Sometimes I feel like I literally wait years for a game to come out, then I play something completely opposite of what I thought I was getting. Other times I’ll be in complete love with a MMO to have it radically altered by a patch or neglected by developers. Maybe the MMO is perfect and I love every second. No matter the circumstance, MMOs are quite strange when compared to other forms of video game entertainment.
There’s always someone who will say “they are my escape from reality.” I can see that. A good MMO really transports me away from whatever is going on in my real life. I can take on the life of a stubby dwarf with an axe, or even become a hardworking blacksmith. I can set my mind free to do whatever I want.
Having something long-term to progress in and work at is a huge one for me. Whenever I don’t have a good MMO in front of me I feel like I’m playing something that will be here today and gone tomorrow. There’s a level of consistency and reliability that comes with a good MMO. That’s why I love it when the leveling process in a game takes months instead of weeks, and why a gear grind is a let down. I like knowing that I can come home every day and continue forward in the same game.
I like social interaction and knowing there are others going through the same ordeal. That sounds crazy to someone like Graev who immediately turns off chat in every MMO. I thrive on it. No matter how small or insignificant, I need to know that my experience is somehow augmented or altered by the input of others.
Then there’s this really… almost odd undefinable reason. I think deep down I just enjoy the model the same way someone can say they like shooters or platformers. I simply enjoy that certain something that makes MMOs into MMOs, and the mechanics — however ridiculously frustrating at times — that I can’t find anywhere else.
Why do you play MMOs? Maybe I’ll discover a reason I overlooked.