rdback.jpg Wandering over to game design-ish site Buzzcut, we note that there's a new article up discussing just why anyone would want to play an MMO, handily named 'The MMORPG motivation?'

In some ways, the editorial, by 'Americanidle', is a slightly doomier, more plodding version of the recent Gamasutra article by David Sirlin that raised the ire of a zillion World Of Warcraft fans, but I do enjoy this part of the concluding paragraph: "Anyone remember what the Catholic Church would spew to the masses in the Middle Ages? Suffer and toil in life and you shall go to heaven. I for one like my games to have a point, and don’t enjoy getting conned by smoke and mirrors." But... Blizzard said I would ascend past this mortal plane when I got to Level 60 Level 70, I thought! How dare they?

But mainly, this is an excuse to mention the Red Dwarf episode 'Back To Reality', which I was watching on my PSP on the train home tonight, and in which the crew of the long-running British TV series are 'killed' by the Despair Squid, and find out that they've been playing an immersive MMO game for the last four years. On jacking out, they're taunted by a sarcastic game attendant Timothy Spall, who comments of the permanently dismal hologram Arnold Rimmer: "You're not telling me that he played the prat version of Rimmer for four years? Oh, that’s a classic, that is!"

Really, what I want from MMOs (being in a particularly sardonic mood this evening) is for mulelike players who spend in-game years working up their crafting skills to the max to be told that it's all a cosmic joke, and there was a secret shortcut all along - and all the other players had been using it, too, the very thing that makes that Red Dwarf episode so damn hilarious. But... hang on, that happened already in Star Wars Galaxies, didn't it? Never mind!