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The Daily Grind: What's the threshold for an MMO?

Eliot Lefebvre

This question is an old one, but it's always one that brings out some interesting opinions. As technology becomes more and more connected, people continue to move their games into connectivity further and further, we have to ask -- what's an MMO, precisely? The recent release of Borderlands has brought the question into the forefront for many people, as it features a rather steady and all but required online mode... but it's not absolutely required, and there's no world persistence. Does that qualify, or is it just an offline game with some MMO elements?

You can certainly argue that they're only distantly related, or you can argue that they're both part of the same genre. By the same token, you can make the case for or against the now-ubiquitous Facebook games -- which are persistent and spread across several players, after all. Today, we ask our readers where they draw the line between MMO and a game that just happens to have an online component. Where do you draw the line, and if you're so inclined, what's your reasoning? Persistence of world? Depth of play? Or is it a knee-jerk reaction where you might not be able to define an MMO, but you know it when you see it?

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