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The "massive" in MMORPG just got a whole lot more massive

I'm always amused by those tips that display on the startup screen. I'm so amused that I can't find the willpower to turn them off. Blizzard changes them from time to time to keep folks like me entertained, so I guess that's why I leave them on. I don't want to miss new installments. Among them is one that encourages you to not only spend time with your friends in Azeroth, but in the "real world" as well.

Separation is good. It's important to have a life outside of the visual range of your computer monitor. But for some folks, the hours they spend in-game aren't enough. Like the Borg, they want to stay permanently hard-wired to the collective consciousness. In the hours of the day when they can't be in the game, they want the game to reach out to them.

Tuebit over at WorldIV.com has published an article about the directions this might take. He talks about ways that your game-of-choice could keep you informed by SMS or perhaps an interface with one of your "real world" instant messengers. In the present tense, Wowecon.com already lets you setup email or SMS alerts to notify you of changes in the auction house market. Tuebit also talks about crafting over a cell phone. To me, that's an exciting idea!

As we sit in a period of anticipation about the new in-game features coming in the next expansion, how do you see the evolution of the MMORPG genre – and World of Warcraft in particular – reaching to players beyond the in-game universe and the in-game interface?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Features

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