Sunday, March 09, 2008

Web 2.0 and MMOs

Tell me what this sounds like to you. A company offers a service where users create their own profiles and connect to other users over the internet through this service. The service provides an extremely well developed user interface, which allows users to communicate with each other, maintain lists of friends, form themselves into groups/organizations, have meetings, and buy, trade, or auction products. The company that provides this service is making more money than you can shake a stick at.

This sounds like a successful web 2.0 application doesn't it? Yes it does, but what would you say if I told you I was talking about the MMO game Worlds of Warcraft. It wouldn't change the truth of any of the things I spoke about earlier, yet most people wouldn't consider WoW a Web 2.0 application. Also consider that MMORPGs came about before the Web 2.0 concept, by at least a decade.

What is the relationship between MMO games and Web 2.0?


avarner said...

What do MMOs offer in terms of user generated content besides chatting?

Justin said...

That really depends on which. Some let you create entire cities from scratch for other players to interact with (ex: Shadowbane), others do not. Some reward players with personal statues in major towns, some do not. Some let you design the appearance of your clothing, guild symbols, etc... Some do not.

Justin said...

I guess I could also add that some MMOs let you create entire story lines for friends to play (Neverwinter nights).

Knud Möller said...

This is an interesting post - just last night I was writing on a short paper describing how to mash up WoW and the Web (remind me to post it here when I've finished writing it).

To me, MMORPGs are a (rather special) form of online social networking. However, while they do run over the internet, they don't actually live on the Web. For that reason, I wouldn't consider them Web 2.0 (or any other version number). This is also what makes mashing them up with Web content rather difficult.