Quick: What does cooking in Free Realms, diplomacy in Vanguard, fishing in World of Warcraft and horse racing in Lord of the Rings Online have in common? Other than being fantastic wastes of time (I kid, I kid), they're all types of minigames added to our MMOs by ambitious developers who were looking for ways other than "smash with club" to accomplish tasks in game.
Some minigames are little more than whimsical diversions, set out for players looking to blow a few minutes on a cute activity. Other minigames are crucial to achieving goals, as players engage in them to get money, level up professions or even succeed at a raid.
So how do you feel about minigames in MMOs? Are they too "kiddy" and should best be left for Nintendo DS players and Flash game fanatics? Do you like the variety and spice they add to the game? Do you even want to see more of them as alternate ways to advance other than combat?