tldr; Tell us what you think "MMO" means a game is in your own words. Help define MMO in ways a dictionary will not. What experiences have you had that set an MMO apart from other games?
Before reading, see the list of rules at the end of this post.
I've seen this going around, on dev forums there's a sticky thread that warns ~ mmos are expensive, you need millions to even get a crack at it, nobody will take an mmo idea seriously. Based on my tight definition of mmo, I agree 100%; and I won't reveal my logic, because I want to hear an opinion or a story from anyone else.
This may require a state of mind, rather than an explanation, to understand where I'm coming from. Today I was watching Penny Arcade: Extra Credit, (even they support the previous point about mmo = $$$), they stated in one episode I'll drop a link to at the bottom: "Gamification is going to be big and it's probably going to be awesome. Just be wary, because someone out there is going to try and use it against you. Just keep your eyes open." As a little side-game I'll rate any replies that follow my own logic hot or cold depending on how close they come.
I decided, this is a good starting point. I even did the tiniest research and in quick concession I threw each conclusion away in disgust and satisfaction that the MMO meaningfulness is for all intents and purposes over the open web a lazy way to say multiplayer.
A country of the biggest online gaming population in the world, China, does not appear to have an official definition for MMO. On one of their versions of Wikipedia-type websites baike.baidu pointed that distinction out, stating what it means in English instead, (I read this with Google translation). I think that's more of a finger-pointing tactic because we sort-of defined something, and never completely nailed down what it meant; they aren't touching it, we could really clean up this mess.
Websites accessed May 25th, 2013
"... someone out there is going to try and use it against you..."
"Define MMO," this is a confused and candid article I found pretty quickly in a single Google search. Please don't fill up on opinions here, come back and leave your own.
MMO RPG , is in English Massive (or Massively) Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game abbreviations. There has not been MMORPG official Chinese translation, while in China the more common translation is "massively multiplayer online role-playing game" is a network game.
Rules that will help keep the conversation civilized.
Three Simple Rules:
1. Share insights and opinions, and explain as little or as much as you like.
2. If you want to debate with a person, use the pm system and be patient, it takes 1 or 2 weeks to notice there's mail sometimes.
3. Direct replies must be questions only, or the thread will self-destruct. e.g."Why did you think so. about so.?" she asked, slowly reaching for a baseball-sized coconut. See #2 for any other reply.