Earlier this week, one of the founding designers of the MMORPG genre, Raph Koster, penned a blog piece arguing that alternate reality games like Pokemon GO and Ingress are the evolution of MMORPGs, the virtual worlds that have come to us rather than transporting us to them. PvP, economics, and player-generated content combine to turn our phones into our games, he writes, and instead of being represented by an avatar of our choosing, we are our avatars. ARGs aren’t just “like” MMOs — they are MMOs.
I understand what Koster means and found myself nodding along when he started spelling out the pitfalls the ARG genre faces (and how similar they are to MMO traps). And maybe this is similar to the “is LARPing akin to a tabletop RPG” argument — incomprehensible to everyone but those right at the heart of the sub-genres. But at the same time, I’m not sure I agree, any more than I agree other branches in the MMO family tree are MMORPGs. What do you think? Are ARGs MMOs, MMORPGs, or none of the above? To the pollmobile!
Are ARGs like Pokemon GO MMOs?
- I say ARGs like Pokemon GO are full-on MMORPGs. (18%, 99 Votes)
- I say ARGs like Pokemon GO are MMOs at the very least. (40%, 216 Votes)
- I say ARGs are neither MMOs nor MMORPGs. (31%, 170 Votes)
- No opinion / elf butts. (11%, 59 Votes)
Total Voters: 544
We’d love to hear your rationale in the comments too!