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The Daily Grind: If SimCity is an MMO, what should we call actual MMOs?


Earlier this week, EA president Frank Gibeau doubled-down on his company's earlier claims about SimCity's MMOness, suggesting the game was built as a "massively multiplayer experience" from the beginning. Rather than pick on Gibeau's comments (already done), I want to consider what would happen if we admitted defeat. What if we just accepted that the term MMO has been utterly co-opted for online singleplayer games -- what should we call "real" MMOs instead?

My colleagues suggest "persistent massively multiplayer online" -- PMMO, I suppose (would we have to change our name to "Persistently"?). While I like the idea of bringing back an old-school term like "persistent," and while it would certainly separate games like EverQuest from games like Diablo III, I worry it also excludes MMORPGs that make heavy use of instancing (and therefore aren't as persistent as they seem) even as it includes games with persistent characters but not worlds.

What do you think -- is it time to give up on the term MMO and adopt something else? Do we retreat to the imperfect label "MMORPG" or begin the hunt for a brand-new acronym?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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