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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

How Gamers View Their MMOs 132

GamerDNA is trying out what they call their Discovery Engine, a system that uses metadata from users to classify games and identify which have similar traits. Massively describes it thus: "Once the gamerDNA community continues to contribute to something like this, it builds up an enormous database of terminology based on actual player knowledge, not just shiny PR words thrown together to promote a game. These search terms can end up being unique to a specific genre, and ultimately lead gamers to exactly the types of games they're looking for." GamerDNA tested the system out on some of the popular MMOs, and they've posted the results. They look at how MMO players identify themselves within the game, how they describe the setting, and what basic descriptive phrases they use in reference to the games.
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How Gamers View Their MMOs

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  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @04:12AM (#26117463) Homepage

    That's also a description of some people's real lives you insensitive clod.

  • by Meviin ( 1360417 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @04:57AM (#26117667)
    The idea isn't that people will search for a long string of adjectives. More likely, it would work like Pandora where you identify a game you like and they show you games that have similar elements. Or you could take a survey of many games and it will find the common themes, or maybe you could just take a survey of the themes. I wouldn't think of "post-apocalyptic fun fantasy" on my own, but I might mark it up on a survey.
  • Re:eve online (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @06:20AM (#26118063) Journal
    What discourages me from playing Eve Online are the keywords: "corruption", "rigging", "cover up".

    That's like voluntarily choosing (and paying!) to live in a universe where you know the Gods (or demigods at least) are evil and corrupt.

    Why bother when you are already forced to "enjoy such realism" in real life?
  • by Swizec ( 978239 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @06:20AM (#26118065) Homepage

    I wouldn't think of "post-apocalyptic fun fantasy" on my own, but I might mark it up on a survey.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you JUST think of it?

  • GamerDNA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Narpak ( 961733 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @06:59AM (#26118283)
    I haven't read GamerDNA before this and I probably won't start now. Risking a negative rating as some undoubtedly disagree with what I am going to write here I'll present my views regardless.

    MMO Focus: Traits of Popular Subscription Games
    The BlogPost is first of all presented with colours that make it hard for some of us to read. White on Black text causes me, and others like me, physical discomfort and can lead to migraines. Something several websites have yet to acknowledge. But be that as it may.

    For something called MMO Focus it seems very unfocused at times, riddled with generalization, non-objective and unsubstantiated statements.

    Simply put, there are a crazy number of people who boot up a game in order to play as a soldier. Sure, that's a reflection of how many games there are where the main character is a soldier of some kind, but the games wouldn't be produced if there weren't a tremendous hunger to portray that archetype. Interesting, given that our culture does not encourage people to become actual soldiers.

    Okay. What culture are you speaking of here? MMO players hail from many different nations, and cultures, across the world and as such their views upon different "archetypes" could vary.

    One thing MMO people do that isn't done by players of other genres is to identify very closely with their particular classes. This habit tends to fragment their "playing as" trait participation, since each game has multiple classes, and often unique names for the classes.

    Really? Some do, some don't. Unless you provide some actual data substantiating this; it's just perception and generalization.

    "Massively multiplayer" didn't even make the How It's Played list for EVE. The top How It's Played trait for EVE was "complexity" with 24%. A tiny handful of WAR players chose "massively multiplater," but when I say tiny, I mean less than 1%. WAR players went overwhelmingly with RVR, with 45% of players choosing that trait. 32% of LOTRO players selected "massively multiplayer," but almost as many (31%) chose "story." 29% of WOW players chose "raids" for How It's Played, a trait that doesn't appear in the lists of the other three games in our sample at all.

    Okay... could the information here perhaps be presented in a way that is understandable?

    WOW players are completely bonkers. They have given forty one possible options, at first glance. On second glance, the problem is getting them to agree on terms. LOTRO players, for example, all tend to simply say "NPC" when they mean any kind of non-player character, from monster to humanoid to instance boss. WOW players are moreâ¦creative. Terms include undead, demons, monsters, mobs, NPCs, elementals, murlocs, goblins, aliens, epic bosses, dragons, and more are all on the list, and all in statistically significant numbers, too. Once you lump them all into a single NPC category (and consolidate "alliance" with "alliance scum" and so on), you get a slightly more rational twelve traits.

    I guess the amount of people playing WoW over the others dosn't affect the variation in their answers? And calling WoW players Bonkers is distracting and not helping presenting the "data" at all.

    This time, LOTRO and EVE players are both tightly focused, and both WOW and WAR players canâ(TM)t seem to agree. Again, that's not a disadvantage in an MMO â" you want to appeal to as many people as possible!

    Again, size of player base perhaps affecting some of these findings? The larger the base the more diversity.

    Good luck with the project as a whole, though I feel you might want to reconsider your approach to how you interpret the data before you make it a fundament for any type of larger project.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15, 2008 @07:07AM (#26118309)

    The OP did. See Post http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1062399&cid=26117501 [slashdot.org]#26117501 about 3 parents up from this.

  • Re:eve online (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrvan ( 973822 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @07:21AM (#26118393)

    I am sorry, I would if I could; but unfortunately I AM Employed.

    That was my problem too. I loved elite and UIM back in the days, and it sounds like a great setting for a MMO. However, I would likely play onely a couple evenings per month, and it seems that light play is incompatible with both the game mechanics and the subscription scheme (ie you pay per time period, not per hour or something of use)

  • by MSojka ( 83577 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @07:22AM (#26118401)

    Funny how the site chose four western MMOs (three of which are 90% the same old mainstream fantasy cliche stuff) and are basing their conclusions on that.

    No big Korean, Chinese, or Japanese MMOs on their list. No free-to-play ones either. No browser-based, 2D or text-only MMOs.

    Great way to show the whole internet you fail at statistics, guys. Here's a bit of help for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biased_sample [wikipedia.org]

  • by Exitar ( 809068 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @08:00AM (#26118623)

    How does this compare to the real life in which you work for:
    - pay the rent of your house
    - buy a new car cause your neighbour has a car better than the one you have now
    - work more to get a pay rise
    - hope for a better work someday

  • Re:eve online (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @08:56AM (#26118903)

    The learning curve tends to weed out teenage WoW players; being accused of engaging in anything but PvP leads to the derogatory label of "carebear".

    Wait, what? Aren't derogatory labels the height of juvenile ridicule? If the Eve gamers were really mature, wouldn't PvP be rare, and cooperation be the norm?

  • Re:eve online (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @09:25AM (#26119073) Journal

    I never got into Eve... not for the "scandal" that happened, but because it always felt like what real life would be like in Space. Corporations running your life, pirates killing you for no other reason than, "You were there" and long waits.

    This article cemented another reason why I don't like Eve as well.

    Again, EVE players are precise and in agreement. They are playing against players.

    I don't play games to compete. Call me weird, but I love gaming because you can gang up on some fictional enemy or artificial being, not some real person.

  • by nobodylocalhost ( 1343981 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:36AM (#26120235)

    The difference is, in MMO you pay money to grind and work, in RL you get paid for grind and work.

  • by everphilski ( 877346 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:58AM (#26120457) Journal
    You're in a giant wheel inside a cage. You paid $50 for the wheel, and it costs you $15 a month to rent the cage it's in.

    Yes, but it is a cheaper wheel than going to the bar every Friday night, or going out to a movie twice a month, or even going out to lunch with coworkers once a week ... if you enjoy it and do it in lieu of other social activities it is a great money saver. Especially once you have kids. Kiddies go to bed around 7 or 8, you have a few hours alone with your wife ... once you've "ground out" a few levels in the bedroom together it's fun to play a MMO together and grind out a few levels together in game. Also a good way to keep in touch with friends who live far away... when I moved from WI to AL, we all played Everquest, and it was probably the cheapest way to keep in touch besides IM...

    In short it's something to do. I bounce between WoW and EQ (I love original EQ, but my wife loves WoW, heart gets split in two) and play probably 3-4 months out of the year in between dissertation research and other extra-work work.
  • by l3prador ( 700532 ) <wkankla@gmaTOKYOil.com minus city> on Monday December 15, 2008 @01:26PM (#26121399) Homepage
    You get "paid" in an MMO as well, just in Gold or Gil or some other virtual currency? What makes getting paid in dollars more legitimate than getting paid in video game currency? Beyond paying for basic needs, all it can cover is shiny accessories also. The only real currency is time, and you have to pay that to both systems.
  • by Reapy ( 688651 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @04:08PM (#26123615)

    What's wrong with running a wheel all the time if you are happy to do so?

    I play volleyball at the Y. This is a "safe" activity. You can say this to people and there is nothing wrong with me, and i'm not wasting my life. It's good for me!

    I play with the same ~50 people every year in the league. It is rec level. I play 4 games a week. At the end we do a tournament style play off, winning team gets a sweatshirt. I enjoy playing, but my skill level has plateaued, I would need to train or play more then once a week to improve from where I am now.

    I could argue that my time at the league is just as wasteful as my time in an MMO, or playing any game for that matter. The score resets at the end of each "season", the teams get rearranged each year, and the last season might not have happened for all the way the gameplay changes.

    But I can tell people I play volleyball without them rolling their eyes. I can't seem to say the same thing about playing WoW, even here, among 'geeks', it is still made fun of.

    So long as you aren't hurting anyone, what's wrong with having some pointless fun?

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman