Ok, so the question of whether a game is an MMO or not an MMO keeps cropping up, and I think it’s a symptom of the problem that the term is starting to become outdated. Traditionally MMO referred to games that would be correctly termed “virtual worlds,” like EQ, DAoC, WoW, etc. But with the introduction of centrally hosted, highly instanced network games (what I tend to refer to as “battlenet style” games) like Guild Wars, DDO, and Hellgate: London, the term MMO is beginning to lose its original meaning and is also becoming less useful as a descriptor for gaming.

I think a better way to discuss online games is in terms of whether they are virtual worlds or multiplayer games. Set within those limits, it becomes much more clear what kind of game you’re talking about. EVE Online is a Virtual World but Guild Wars is a Multiplayer Game.  It’s not a question of whether one mechanic is “better” than the other, it’s just different ways of serving content to the players – VW or MPG, unfortunately neither of those acronyms roll off the tongue as easily as MMO, and they’re easily confused with current automotive acronyms so we’re probably going to be stuck with the nebulous MMO term for awhile.  Darn, and here I thought I had it all figured out! LOL!

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