Brackish Waters

how my gaming and life coalesce.

What if your friends were neighbors?

Imagine a place in which you could visit all of your friends from every MMO you haveNeighborhood played. Its a neighborhood, and the houses close to you would be owned by each of those friends and inside those houses lived not only the history of that person, but everything that person had accomplished.

When I try to think about where MMO gaming could go in 10 years, I think about the second M in that anagram. We play these games because we not only want entertainment, we wait entertainment with other people. We are not antisocial beings by nature, we like our groups no matter how large or small they are. If MMOs want to evolve, they will have to create a method to facilitate better relationships with the users themselves. Between the users themselves.

If told you that there was a client, that when used would open to an environment and place you in a home of your own construction, would you use it? Probably not, because there are many programs out there that not only let you build anything you want, but do so in a gaming environment.

What if I told you that the house was located in a neighborhood, as I said before, and held the residences of your friends? It would have some merit, yes, but what functionality would it be besides a glorified Sims game? What if in those houses you could showcase your achievements from every game that you played, in a room you created and decorated to your own choosing, would that not feel like a home for your virtual self? More than any home on any server you have ever had?

It would do exactly that because a gamers life is not usually one world. It is encompassed by a lifetime of creating characters and visiting a myriad of environments and gathering a plethora of items and treasures. Goals met and merits received, none to be acknowledged except by the closed loop of society that exists within that one world. Its sad to think about it really. You can say to a person, “Yes, I did play Dark Age of Camelot”, but how do you show them what you achieved? How do you show that person that you did in fact decide to camp for 16 hours at that spawn point for that rare drop, just like they did?

It can happen and it most likely will. Someone will create a client that will be independent from every published game, but not exclusive from them. It will allow you to launch any title you wish at any time and show this information to your neighbors. It will work in harmony with the game you are playing and allow you to save your progress like a photo album. It will be an innocuous world of your own choosing but a representation of your self.

Friends who also are a part of this removed world would be close to you by simply adding and getting approval of their friendship, their information is then added to your environment. They will not have to choose whose neighborhood to call home. No, because that would only create rifts and societies that this world is trying to remove. Their neighborhood would look a lot different than yours, but you would be there. They are the maker of their world, as you are the maker of your own world.

Stopping by to see a friend 6,000 miles away just got easier. And you know what, you probably never knew that your neighbor was the one who stole that keep relic from you 10 years ago, but now you do. Its right there on their mantle with the date it was taken and the name of their character that they had played. The world just got smaller. Its a beautiful thing.

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August 31, 2007 - Posted by | Brainstorms, RL

3 Comments »

  1. Nice post. I have been thinking about this topic too. MMOs need to include the same features that Myspace, Facebook and other social sites allow. MMORPGs are natural communities. It would be awesome if the games incorporated better sharing features.

    Comment by Fred | August 31, 2007 | Reply

  2. This would be really cool, and you could even maybe send mail or put something like a note to them and maybe it could automatically contact them in whatever game they are playing now. Really cool topic

    Comment by pvthudson | September 3, 2007 | Reply

  3. @ pvthudson:
    Yeah, I expect we will see something like this come along soon enough. The first iteration is with the new SOE launchpad. After that its anyone’s guess as to how it goes independent but universal.

    Comment by brackishwater | September 4, 2007 | Reply


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