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Beyond the MMORPG - Story

Posted Dec 24, 2007 by Jon Wood

Beyond the MMORPG - Story

In this Christmas Eve edition of Beyond the MMORPG, Managing Editor Jon Wood uses Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 to discuss storytelling in MMORPGs.

As a pre-Christmas present to myself this year, I went out and picked up the 2008 addition to the Smackdown vs. Raw franchise. This wasn’t a new and impulsive decision; I’ve played every game in this series, and quite enjoyed it. The thing is, and the reason that I am writing about that particular game today is because I think it highlights some important issues that are present in video games in general and in MMOs in particular.

The reason that this particular title may cause a few heads to turn in confusion is that, in case the name isn’t familiar to you, Smackdown vs. Raw is a game based on professional wrestling. World Wrestling Entertainment if we’re going to get specific. So, what is it exactly that MMORPGs can learn from a game based on a fake and scripted sport?

Wrestling, you see, has often been referred to as “a soap opera for guys” and when you think about it, that’s not far from the mark. Now, I want to remind everyone that I am speaking in generalities here, and I am in no way implying that only men can like wrestling or that all women watch soap operas.

Read it all here.


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