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What Makes a Family MMO?

Posted by AndyLee Tuesday November 10 2009 at 1:35AM
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I just read this Conquer Player Interview, in which the interviewee has 13 family members playing an MMO, Conquer Online, together. I have been playing the game for a few years, and heard such instances from time to time. Parents start to play the game to keep an eye on their young kids, but they get themselves addicted and introduce the game to other family members.

Usually family games are stereotyped as casual games, such as chess, cards, and rhythm-action games; not exactly combat-focused games. However, Conquer Online is famous for its PvP-oriented gameplay, in which you can PK other players in most maps. So I am wondering how Conquer could have become a family MMO?

First of all - easy to play
To be a family MMO, it has to be easy to pick up. You might be a hardcore player and have years of gaming experience, but it is really complicated for house-wife moms or 8-year-old kids to master classic D&D rules. Conquer has the most common features for a fantasy MMO, which an MMO newbie, like Mom and Dad, can easily adapt to.

Secondly – good for kids
To be a family MMO, it doesn’t mean that the game has to be a fairy-tale-like world. However, a game filled with half-naked female characters won’t be favored by parents. Compared to the average Korean counterpart, Conquer doesn’t have any of the more “sexy” female characters running around in the game. On the contrary, you experience beauty in the form of the classic Chinese art-style. Conquer is a PvP-oriented MMO. However, thanks to its older 2.5D graphic engine, it doesn’t contain detailed scenes of violence, either.

Last but not least – family member interaction
To be a family MMO, it has to provide a close interactive environment between those family members, so that parents, kids and other relatives can stick together during their adventures. In Conquer, various interaction systems can help family members who are playing the game together to level up and complete different kinds of quest. In the Guild War, you can even fight a battle royal with your parents or kids! Isn’t that exciting?

So do you have the experience that playing an MMO with your family? What is your opinion about family MMOs?