Less Massive, more Story: MMORPG’s are Jersey Shore

28 02 2011

I find myself distanced from the MMORPG more every day, as I play less WoW and more other stuff. It started with Dead Space 2, and by the time I was finished i was so enthralled at having spent just under 2 weeks playing a game that had a plot, that had dialogue, that had actual character development… that when I was done, and looking at the WoW login screen, the only thought that occured to me was…


I’m not excited about Rift, as many of my mmorpg playing peers are. I’m still keen on The old Republic, but increasingly for the storyline aspects and less for the multiplayer. I think mmorpg’s are still great, of course, but every person goes through phases in their life, and mmorpg’s are one such phase. And here it is.

They’re the Jersey Shore of gaming.

Everybody trying to one up each other. To get with the in-crowd. To have the best ‘do’. That’s what it is. That’s what drives people who play mmorpgs. It’s about my gear/achievements/guild is better than yours. It’s about the accompanying drama and snarkiness. It’s about brandname purple handbags and dps-meter e-rep and hanging around in cliques badmouthing other cliques. That’s it. That’s everything about the entire genre in a nutshell.

I realised I wasn’t having much fun with it anymore. I enjoy some of the story aspects that mmorpg’s have, and WoW has come a long way in that regard.. but once you ding 85 and hit endgame, the story dries up, and is replaced with dailies and endless raiding tedium designed to keep us competing with all the other fabulously dressed online Snooki clones.

I miss what attracted me to MMORPG’s in the first place. Online worlds of wonder and exploration. Unfortunately, they’ve come to mirror the real-world and all it’s faults. What was once different, dangerous and filled with adventure has become the same, safe, and full of boredom.

They’ve become the online haven of e-guidos.

And it rarely matters which one you pick. They’re all the same, whether WoW or LotrO or Aion or Rift.

All you can do is try and play the games to experience content… and when that’s no longer enough, either embrace your inner guido, or move on. Sometimes a reroll staves off the content-boredom, but eventually you hit a point where even rolling a new character isn’t enough anymore. Where even an alternative mmo isn’t good enough anymore.

I find solace, now, in real life pursuits and singleplayer gaming. I’m enjoying my romps through games like Dead Space 2. I’m replaying Dragon Age:Origins – this time with the intent to actually finish it – in anticipation of Dragon Age 2. I’m looking forward to Duke Nukem Forever, and Max Payne 3… where once all I could look forward to was the next piece of epic lewtz. And i feel relieved. That this time, the need to fit in has finally passed, and I can just be me, and do what I like, enjoy what I enjoy.

And I enjoy nothing better than a good story.