Massively OP’s 2016 gift guide for the MMORPG bookworm


Hey you! Yeah, the player who actually reads quest text and lore entries when all of the other hooting madmen are furiously clicking past them so that they can go back to the digital bloodbath! There’s no shame to settle in with a good book that just so happens to feature your favorite MMO or touch on the genre as a whole. Many of us at some time have cracked open novels, art books, and even graphic novels to dive more deeply into the worlds of the games we love.

So if you’re looking for a printed companion to help you while away the hours this winter, we have a list of recommended reads for you today. You can get many of these as e-ink digital books, of course, but the bibliophiles should be happy to know that these are all available as physical tomes as well.

EVE Book Series

Despite what you may think, EVE Online does have a wealth of lore and backstory that goes above player corporations betraying and slaying each other for money and headlines. The long-running MMO received a three-book treatment a few years ago, taking fans inside the gritty and expansive universe of EVE. So after you see a certain sci-fi franchise’s Rogue One, you might want to see if Templar One compares.

EVE Universe: The Art of New Eden

Speaking of both EVE Online and art books, The Art of New Eden is a tour-de-force of the EVE franchise that released just last year. There are sketches, concept art, and full-color renders of the stark beauty of EVE Online, EVE: Valkyrie, and even DUST 514 (R.I.P.). At 192 pages, it’s got some serious heft to it, too. We suppose you could invite your biggest corp rival over and have a book fight with these, with the winner looting the loser’s wallet for lunch money.

The Guild Leader’s Companion

The subtitle of this guide is “Leadership through serenity, positivity, and transparency,” which tells you that this book is more than just a dos and don’ts list for guild leaders. The author draws upon years of personal experience wrangling cats as a guild leader and delivers useful, helpful advice for those trying to run a successful player organization.

The Art of World of Warcraft

Arguably one of the reasons for World of Warcraft’s longevity is in the genius of its art design. The colorful, stylized graphics has kept the MMO looking timeless with contemporaries look every day of their early 2000s-era graphics. With this 224-page book, you can admire the artistry behind the visuals, covering the game’s most beautiful and notable vistas up through 2014’s Warlords of Draenor.

Richard Bartle: MMOs from the Outside In

The follow-up to MMOS from the Inside Out, Richard Bartle (the creator of MUD 1) talks about the impact and import of how the world can affect the MMORPG genre. It’s a much deeper and more academic look at the genre, but for the reader looking for some meat to chew on and evidence of MMOs as a legitimate art form, it’s a perfect gift.

Raph Koster: A Theory of Fun

Do we even have to introduce Raph Koster? One of the major forces behind groundbreaking MMOs such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies wrote A Theory of Fun for Game Design over a decade ago to share his insights into how all of the pieces of online games fit together to make a title fun — or not. For the 10th anniversary of the book, Koster went back and updated it to the second edition.

Or search for your own.

Links included within this article may be part of MOP’s Amazon affiliate program, income from which goes entirely to funding our operational budget. We have not been sponsored or coerced by any studio to mention any product. Stay tuned for more of our holiday gift guides for MMO players this week, and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!
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