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MMO=Gambling

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MMO's combine all the elements and mechanics of traditional gambling into a thematic wrapper for easy consumption. The game system learning curve is a little steeper than traditional gambling - but still accessible enough to anyone with basic computer gaming skills. The key difference - MMOs trade money for time in terms of achievement. Where with unlimited funds in traditional gambling you could always find an entry to "win", MMO's use player commitment(time) as a device for perpetual winning. All MMO's are designed to reward over a long period of time - because their profit structure is based off a service fee. The goal for the developer is to keep stringing along the consumer with small reward bites that increase in magnitude with time. Punishments are not as harsh as traditional gaming, anything determined to severe would cause the consumer to stop playing. As would a slower reward system. There are no creative solutions to solving problems in traditional gambling like cards, roulette or horse racing - without breaking the confines of the rules. And MMO's are no exception, all of their mechanics can be broken down into mathematical systems based on chance. This explains why some people are literally addicted to MMO's, they mimic the same stimulus and response as gambling. Here is a challenge. Name a core mechanic in any MMO that has nothing to do with gambling.

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Original post by Dumptruck
The key difference - MMOs trade money for time in terms of achievement.

Err... I always thought they traded money for enjoyment... gambling too (I never seem to quit while I'm ahead) but since its the same with both MMOs and gambling, I've still got nothing.

Even though I don't agree with the premise (see above), I see no flaw in the remainder of your argument, and doubt anyone will be able to adequately respond to your challenge.

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Original post by hplus0603
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Name a core mechanic in any MMO that has nothing to do with gambling.


Meeting new friends, and hanging out with existing friends, online, has very little to do with gambling.


I would imagine that while the social aspect isn't an official part of a gambling, your fun can be increased when gambling with friends.

In the same way, the social element of MMO games isn't part of the official gameplay, but anyone can attest that playing with friends increases fun.

I don't agree that MMO games are the same thing as gambling, however. That being said, I think Dumptruck has recognized a fundamental correlation between the two. I do think gambling and MMO games probably share a common link in the human nature.

Definately both consumers and producers should treat MMO games as a type of gambling, both in their addictive qualities and their ultimate loss. (ie: the house always wins.) MMO games are similar to gambling in that you can never show a 'profit' for the time/money spent, but still fun for a casual play.

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A gambler believes that he has a chance to make gambling a lifestyle and income source. If you consider things like a disco or club to be a socializing gambling event (which i wouldnt really hesitste to agree with) then your also allowed to consider a MMOG to be a gambling kind of lifestyle.

The big difference is however that the entrance into the MMOG addiction comes from seeking something entirely different than what a potential gambler seeks when he for the first time bets on some game.

Only a tiny few % of the MMOG players play the games with a primary objective to affect their financial status while most gamblers keep this in mind while gambling.

You also have to consider that most MMOG players get emotionally attached to their gaming characters, they get interested in the social lifes of their co-players and several seek to challenge the abilities of themselfs and their friends through the environment of the game. The actual roleplaying aspect (which many disregard) actually comes heavily into play when you have played a game long enough. You might not know it but by playing just yourself without any amount of roleplaying involved you create a roleplayer character for everyone else in the game.

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