The Daily Grind: Should MMOGs and virtual worlds be separate?

Friday held the Social Gaming Summit, a meeting of the luminaries of the various virtual worlds -- Gaia Online, Neopets, and IMVU to name a very few -- in San Francisco. This blogger was on hand for several of the panels, and came away with a deeper understanding of where the demarcation between massively multiplayer online game and virtual world was drawn. On the virtual world side, developers are beginning to incorporate more and more elements of what would normally be considered MMO-only features, like quests and leveling up.

However, similar integration of virtual world-like elements in MMOs has so far remained off-spec. Chat aside, games like World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, and City of Heroes don't have features like profiles with integrated blogs for players, or spaces in which one could post photos and media for others to enjoy. Is this something that might change as the Web 2.0 landscape evolves? Are MMOs better off remaining "pure"?

This article was originally published on Massively.