Side-Quest: What Causes MMO Tribalism?

Travis Meacham Writes:

"War is coming. I could also say, "WAR is coming," by which I mean Mythic Entertainment's fantasy MMO Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. WAR goes live on September 18th to the delight of squealing massively multiplayer fans everywhere. But the war I'm actually referring to is one in which I have a personal stake: the inevitable dust-up that follows every MMO launch between the gaming press and the fans. We sit on the eve of battle, sharpening swords and tightening our armor, but deep down we know that none of it will help. We won't slip through this one unscathed. We never do. And every time I wonder, "Is all this shouting really necessary?"

Covering the launch of an MMO is a two-front skirmish. Coming out in favor of the new game draws the ire of fans of the other games in the market, whereas coming out against the new game invokes the wrath of those who've chosen it as their current champion. Certain video games have long been a haven for misplaced adoration and devotion but nothing can rival the warcry of a scorned MMO fan. They charge into the fray where their initial volley is usually their gaming resume; listing the other MMOs they've mastered and cast aside followed by a proclamation of beta code access. The second attack comes swiftly and is made up facts derived from anecdotal evidence and experimentation that are seemingly impervious to debate or interpretation. The final hit of the combo varies but will sometimes aim to score a bleeding wound by attacking the author directly; calling into question their qualifications. What is it about these games that make people so crazy?"

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