The MMO Label Now Describes Most Gaming

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By sainDate: Jan 29 2016 Views:


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For most regular MMO players, the term describes a specific type of game: a themed setting (often medieval and/or mystical), a choice of characters, and the ability to embark on endless missions for achievement or personal improvement. The games exist in gigantic communities where activity is nonstop, and players can work together, contest one another, or simply pass one another by without incident. But when you think of the term "MMO" in the literal sense - a massive multiplayer online game - it might now be fair to say that it applies to the majority of video games.

Mobile games provide the clearest indication of this shift. Once upon a time it was a very simple and individual thing to play a video game on a mobile phone. Examples from Tetris to Zuma represented miniaturized arcade games and Atari spinoffs that could be enjoyed by an individual as a means of killing time or finding a few spare minutes of entertainment. Now, however, mobile gaming is an entirely different activity. In part this is simply because the games have become larger and more sophisticated. But it's also because the advent of online connectivity through smartphones has brought on a wave of multiplayer practices, sometimes through simple co-op and versus formats but often through a setup that closely mimics the online MMO style. This list of great multiplayer games for Android mobile that was compiled about a year ago, shows just a sampling of what's become an incredibly broad categ ory.

Clash of Clans

The shift toward MMO practices in other forms of gaming has also been evident in other online games, most notably in the casino genre. Where once casino gaming might have meant pulling a digital slot lever or playing a hand of cards against a crude A.I., it now means interacting with massive bases of online players competing in the same games (and sometimes with money at stake). Sometimes players can organize entire tournaments in various card games, and people can even enjoy a game as simple as bingo here in an elevated style that invokes a sense of community. Specifically, bingo players can participate together as a live dealer makes the calls via video feed. It's all about interaction, changing what was once a pretty private and personal style of gaming into a community experience.

And then of course there's gaming for the console market, which now includes some multiplayer experiences large enough to rival the size and interactive potential of some of the major online MMOs. Just in 2015 we saw Halo 5 - arguably the biggest game of the year - widely praised for its near-perfect multiplayer mode, whereas the single player options were hardly discussed upon release. Multiplayer has long been at the core of the Halo franchise, but the fact is that a lot of games that were once built for story modes are now employing, if not prioritizing, multiplayer capabilities. Sometimes that just means being able to form teams and enter contests, but in other instances it's truly constructed like an MMO game, in that activity is ongoing even when you're not signed in yourself.

Halo 5

Each of the games mentioned here has its own style, and this isn't meant to suggest that everything is a version of World of Warcraft by any means. "Multiplayer" and "MMO" aren't synonymous. But it's become quite clear that the general MMO concept has spread its influence across all different modes of gaming, as developers recognize the value of person-to-person interaction and realistically active worlds in keeping games up to speed with players' desires.

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