The other day I was reading up on Fallout 76’s emote wheel — brought to you by Bethesda’s console tunnel vision — and was ruminating on just how rarely I see other players emote in MMOs these days. I seem to recall witnessing more emotes back in the day, especially in games like City of Heroes and LOTRO, but now I suspect that emoting has died out among the general populace as the novelty of bumping into other real people online has worn off.
Or perhaps it’s something different altogether. After all, it’s not as if most MMOs make emotes super-accessible. Occasionally you do have a game with an emote window that features icons you can drag to hotbars, but for the most part these games are still operating in the 1990s with slash commands that require memorization. Maybe it’s just hard to remember these on the fly, apart from the frequently used /wave.
Why do you think that players don’t use emotes more in MMOs? Are emotes doomed to be regulated to roleplayers only, or will facial recognition emotes usher in a renaissance of expression?