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Editorial: Why?

Posted Aug 05, 2005 by Dana Massey

Editorial: Why?

Erich Von Hase has penned a debut editorial for MMORPG.com. In this article he discusses "why we play these games".

If you’re visiting this website as a player, you’ve probably got a little bit of an interest in figuring out why this cycle is so common. People like to read up on the real reasons we do the things that we do, especially when we find out that we are not unique in doing them. However, there is another group that has a much more vested interest in why you keep paying to play MMOGs, and that is the community of developers. Their livelihood depends on your desire to keep your account active. Surprisingly, few players understand the lengths that successful developers go to to get players into and keep them in that subscribing ‘Fascination’ stage. As you’re about to find out, this article is about a lot more than just player sympathy. I’m going to explain how it all works.

Let’s start with the history of MMOGs. In the early 1970’s a guy named Gary Gygax invented a little game called Dungeons & Dragons, which became responsible for pathetic grades all over high schools and colleges for the next two decades. The game, although an entirely imaginary table top and dice sort of thing, encouraged players to pretend they were someone else, such as a heroic knight or wizard, and weave the tale of their lives with a group of friends. So many people became so engrossed in playing this game that ministers declared it satanic. Truly, it was a phenomenon, and it sold millions and millions of books. But even then, the formula was not quite perfected. It still had two more elements to be added.

You can read his full editorial here.

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