Why Fantasy MMOs?

How could so few words spark so much response? Because we all like talking about fantasy vs. sci-fi vs. western vs. modern vs. everything else. Why on Earth are there so many fantasy games, books, and movies? Why do we keep seeing new fantasy MMOs announced at a 2 to 1 ratio vs. all other genres? Well, there are already half a gazillion comments at Terra Nova about it, and Moorgard has some good insight into it. I’m not sure if I’ve ever really chimed in about why we make so many fantasy MMOs, but I guess it’s time for me to enlighten everyone beyond the break.

We love fantasy.

7 Responses to "Why Fantasy MMOs?"

  1. JuJutsu

    heh heh. Short and to the point :)

  2. […] other sites, Moorgard offered up his own views on the subject, while over on Nerfbat, the simple truth was […]

  3. I think, and I’m just guessing, that it may be related to suspension of belief (or is it disbelief, I can never remember). Any ways, I think we have an easier time buying into the concept of a fantasy realm, where anything that doesn’t fit with our real world experience is obviously magic, and that’s ok.

    On the other hand, if we were looking at a cold war era game, stuff that doesn’t work like the real world is obviously wrong. That makes it hard (harder anyways) to swallow. The effect, I suspect is enhanced in games where you need to make game play consesions.

  4. Mythilt

    I also think it is because thanks to the movies and most books, we actually think it is more likely to survive a sword blow than a gunshot. In Sci-fi its usually one hit and you are vapor. Also, plasma cannon aren’t up-close and personal like daggers and swords are, and lets face it, only Star Wars will be allowed to have force swords (never mind they existed in Science Fiction novels looong before the light saber was visualized.)
    So, Sci-Fi games are the FPS’s, while fantasy are the RPGs, it all comes down to what is most ‘believable’ to the general public.
    (Though I’ve had ideas about SF MMO’s, and I’d love to see a Gamma World like one, but with a larger scope.)

  5. […] 2007 at 1:40 am (Musings) (design, fantasy, psychology, stuff) Shamelessly nicked from loadsĀ of people. Richard Bartle asked the denizens of Terra Nova why fantasy games are disproportionately […]

  6. TheGooMan

    As what others have commented here, it’s all about “believability”. In a fantasy setting, players are more inclined to believe that they can survive things that come at them. In a scifi-setting, a blast from the DeathStar is enough to blow up a planet, so that can pretty much end a person’s gaming experience. And a “real-life” MMORPG has way too many limitations, from characters’ appearance to their actions and their INTERactions with the environment.

    For sci-fi gamers, don’t fret. There are a number of MMOs bringing in the Sci-Fi element these days. RF Online, Hellgate: London, Huxley, and Tabula Rasa come into mind.

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