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MMOWTF: Happy Games Make Me Want to Kill

In this short-but-sweet edition of MMOWTF, Dan Fortier takes a swing at what he calls "kiddie MMOs", friendship meters, decorating contests and the like. 

Happy Games Make Me Want to Kill

Editor's Note: This is an edition of a weekly column by Staff Writer Dan Fortier. The column is called "MMOWTF" and will look at some of the stranger or more frustrating events in MMOs as seen by Mr. Fotier. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of MMORPG.com, its staff or management.

That’s right...I said it. Happy Games make me want to kill. If that isn’t clear enough let me put a finer point on it: Games that involve cartoon characters, emasculated male avatars, sparkly music and non-violent ways to compete with fellow players send me into a murderous rage that typically involves turning green and huffing paint. There is just something about really big eyes and a small mouth that gets my adrenaline pumping and makes me want to inflict serious virtual damage on people and property. This week, I take my impotent aggression out on kiddie MMOs and the adults who keep them profitable. Yar!

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It seems that a month doesn’t go by in which an MMO that caters to kids (and the people that stalk them) is released. A fair portion of these titles are imported from counties that literally crank out these games in a non-stop stream. The ones that make it to our side of the pond are usually poorly translated and virtually carbon copies of each other minus a title and a quickly assembled backstory pasted haphazardly onto the genre of choice. Is this some kind of payback for something we did wrong in a past life?

The ‘features’ generally include elements such as Friendship Meters, Decorating Contests, Customizable Pets and, of course, an Item Mall. The games are typically free and cater to kids who *boohoo* can’t afford a monthly subscription. Maybe all that aerosol I sniffed wiped my memory but I don’t ever recall enjoying anything so devoid of testosterone. When I was a kid we had He-Man and G.I. Joe who ran around being tough while my little sister watched My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake. When did this distinction begin to blur?

Why do these games get my panties in a bunch? What’s the big deal if some folks enjoy playing a game that doesn’t have a mature rating and spray blood every time you take a step? I’ll tell you why. Being an outspoken promoter of the MMO genre, I feel ashamed and insulted that someone on the outside might associate these types of games with my beloved virtual drug of choice. It’s like explaining to some people about a D&D game that you run and having them stop you halfway and asking “Oh...Is this like the game where you dress like a Vampire and run around the streets?”

Nothing I say or do will stem this tide of androgyny, but I really needed to get this off my chest. If you want to join the fight against happy games then do so at your own risk. After all, we’re a minority. Keep the faith brothers and fight the good fight!

This concludes my weekly waste of column space. Tune in next week as I travel to Africa in search of the deadly Ebola virus… and find it! If you have a cute reply to this week’s topic please post it...the world needs more cute. Peace out.