Have We Simply Outgrown the MMORPG? (GameSpy)

When asked how we know one another, a close friend and I like to tell other people that we met in 2004 while killing a pig — only after the inevitable outrage do we clarify that the pig was a quest objective in World of Warcraft’s Elwynn Forest in 2004. On another occasion, a chance encounter brought me face-to-face with something of a nemesis: the leader of a rival guild. As it turned out, we actually had much in common, and our real-life friendship has now grown to the point that I often have trouble remembering his in-game name. I have about a dozen other stories like that, but I recently realized I haven’t formed similar relationships in MMORPGs in years. And now, reflecting on the last decade, I think that’s less because I’ve changed and more because readily available information and fewer reasons to rely on our friends have robbed the genre of that dash of magic — a magic that may never return.

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