Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How MMO Games Have Inspired the Wider World of Gaming

Gaming as we know it today in its purest form has been around in one form or another since Atari brought out Pong in 1972, but in recent years, the very essence of gaming has started to undergo various revolutionary changes that would, perhaps, have been left uncovered and uncharted before the arrival of MMO games.

"Aion" by Alt-x (CC BY 2.0)

It may sound like preaching to the converted here, but Aion is one of the finest examples of an MMO game; for objective evidence of that, check out its strong Metacritic ranking and the hype that has surrounded it in the industry since its formation back in 2009.

Since 2009, the world of MMO games and even Aion itself have changed substantially as the world of gaming in general has evolved to adapt to the demands and different tastes of gamers. MMO is not alone in experiencing this trend, though, with other parts of the gaming and iGaming industries that initially seem disparate actually finding themselves influenced and connected by trends that began with MMO.

A More Sociable World After the Rise of MMOs?
Aion and other MMOs like Vikings: War of Clans and Clash of Clans have created a world where the image of the solo gamer playing on their own and not being capable of interacting with others has truly been exposed as a myth. By encouraging (though not forcing) gamers to work together, through clans or other groups, MMOs have proved that the world of gaming is one where social interaction with others is actually a preference and not an annoyance.

This has helped to encourage gamers on other platforms like the PS4 or Xbox Live, where chatting and being sociable are now a key part of gaming, whether referring to games like FIFA or classic shoot 'em up action games like Call of Duty.

A Wider Reach Than Anticipated? 
A similar knock-on effect to other games was to be anticipated, but it is arguably in the world of iGaming where the most surprising development has taken place, most probably inspired by the huge growth of MMOs.

Take bingo as an example. Previously widely perceived as being a focus point for older people, the hobby has been given a shake-up of significant proportions, and much of that has been down to the chance to engage in social activity online whilst playing. Bingo is now seen as one of the biggest "sports" in the UK (in fact bigger than tennis) and undoubtedly one of the factors in this has been the chance to be more sociable when playing online.

20 August 2014

Andy Williams

The inclusion of live chat, which you’ll see when you play bingo online at William Hill amongst others, has been the major driver in this and has helped players to enjoy a more modern version of a classic game, which in turn has helped to revamp other collaborative ideas such as Bingomation, a really interesting online project that encouraged the link between bingo and collaboration in a different way through the medium of art.  

What Could Come Next?
Technology is improving all the time and with PvP gaming and MMO games still hugely popular and leading the way in gaming popularity, it will be interesting to see how they continue to develop and help to influence games that might not normally be seen as trendy.

With virtual reality, augmented reality, and many other developments now very much becoming a big thing in a world of gaming that is constantly improving and innovating, it will be interesting to see what developments come in next and help shape the games of today and the games of the future.

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