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An MMO refers to a massively multiplayer online videogame (also called MMOG) which is capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously.
By necessity, they are played on the Internet, and feature at least one persistent world. They are, however, not necessarily games played on general purpose computers. Most of the newer game consoles (Xbox 360, PSP, PS3, Wii, etc.) can access the Internet, and thus can have MMO genre games.
MMOs enable players to cooperate and compete with each other on a grand scale, and sometimes to interact meaningfully with people around the world. They include a variety of gameplay types, representing many videogame genres. Many MMOs require players to invest large amounts of their time into the game. Most MMOs require a monthly subscription fee, but some can be played for free.
Some experts consider MMOs to be a type of virtual world, namely, a "closed" virtual world, because of the user’s structured, limited influence on the world. Others consider virtual worlds to be a subset of MMOs called "social" MMOs.
- ↑ See Alexandra McGill, "Commentary, Virtual Worlds Continuum, Pew Internet" (Feb 6. 2008); Ralph Schroeder, "Defining Virtual Worlds and Virtual Environments," J. of Virtual Worlds Res., Vol. 1, No. 1, at 2 (July 2008) ("online games are a subset of virtual worlds; namely, those where the activity revolves around gaming activities," and are "primarily designed to foster accumulating points or reaching new levels").
- ↑ See, e.g., Phil White, "MMOG Data, Tracked MMOGs."
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