Favourite #game genres

This post is my response on #rgMOOC co -op {week one}

The gaming experience is often a matter of personal taste; some like to shoot up aliens, others want to become city tycoons. Hence, the various gaming genres allow for each gamer to deploy his/her skills and interests accordingly.

I suppose I could characterize myself as a fan of role playing games, or RPGsWikipedia (2013) defines this highly immersive game type as casting

“… the player in the role of one or more “adventurers” who specialize in specific skill sets (such as melee combat or casting spells) while progressing through a predetermined storyline”.

Basically, you take hold of an avatar, customize its features (both external and internal) and through it you interact with the surrounding environment or / and with other players.

The emerging gaming community within RPGs is quite strong in numbers; thus the term MMO RPGs, i.e. massive open online role-playing games, where one collaborates and experiences the same game context with thousands – even millions – of other players all over the world. . Even though Wikipedia cites Dungeons and Dragons as the main source of inspiration for RPGs, I would considerate Everquest as being the major breakthrough in the MMO RPG gaming genre.

The elements of lore and game narrative in general are more or less influenced either by medieval fantasy context (enter dragons, elves, dwarves and swords) or bleak future alien invasion. Wikipedia also quotes casual derails from the fore mentioned motifs, mostly coming from Asian game developers.

Having been an avid World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls: Skyrim player, I could say I am drawn to high fantasy, medieval context. Epic elements, mythical creatures, serenity of landscapes and formidable musical scores make the experience complete and absolute; you can scarcely remain within the game for any less than two hours, even if you are merely a casual player.

Should you decide to embark on an MMO RPG journey, there is seldom one finite goal. There is always something to do, an achievement you haven’t completed yet, a recipe you missed, an area you didn’t explore. To be honest time flies when you are having fun, chatting in the trade channel with complete strangers or analyzing the latest raid wipes with your guild mates. These are only a few of the reasons why I enjoy spending time playing  MMO RPGs.

Bainbridge makes a rather interesting remark regarding why we choose to role play in MMO RPGs like World of Warcraft:

Some writers about avatars assume that users consider them to be very direct representatives of themselves in a virtual world, but my observation suggests the widest possible range of connections between the biological person and the electronic person, only occasionally fulfilling the definition of second self”.  [Bainbridge: p. 187]

So it’s not really about playing “me” in fancy gear and carrying a sword / stave. It’s basically about entering a complete other dimension.

To conclude I appreciate a decent MMO RPG for carefully constructing an escapism mentality, making my choice of a pastime considerably more engaging. After all, Reality is broken as Jane Mc Gonigal boldly insinuates. But that is a whole other co-op…

Works cited:

Bainbridge, William Sims. The Warcraft Civilization: Social Science in a Virtual World. London: MIT Press. 2010. Print

Video Game Genres. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. Retrieved 28 May 2013 from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_genres