Virtual Worlds & MMOs: A Comparison Discussion

I don't have the time right now to discuss this topic (or a forumulated position yet), but I figured many of you might want to join me in delving into a great discussion about "Virtual World vs. Massively Multiplayer Online Game" going on in a few places. 

First, Ryan Shwayder at Nerfbat points out a summary thread discussion at the MMO Round Table that asks the question "Are Virtual Worlds and MMOGs distinct from one another? If so, what are the distinctions?" ...I know, I know.. that's a flurry of links all at once there, but I think you can handle it.

 The Nerfbat article is probably a good place to start this journey since it provides a solid introduction to the topic followed by Ryan's opinions.  He starts with his definitions of each and rolls from there:

  • Massively Multiplayer Online Game: A persistent-state game that is played online with hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
  • Virtual World: A persistent-state computer-simulated world that is generally occupied by hundreds, if not thousands, of characters.

He's talking about a quick distinction where "MMOGs are 'played' where VWs are 'occupied.'"  I'd say he states his position well and it starts to help fire synapses that you can use as fuel for thought while you wonder over to the MMO Round Table discussion and read some more.  There is a good variety of perspective on the topic, from what I've skimmed so far... plenty of contrasted opinions.  Yay!

 There's a lot here to go through and like I said, I don't have the time right now.  I'm looking forward to reading through all this stuff to get my head into the mood of it all.  This is an interesting discussion that I figure a lot of folks around here might enjoy participating in.  And those are two mighty fine sites, too!  Good stuff.

Wheee... don't ya just love game theory?!?  :)