Ever since I played the first #Lego Star Wars game, I’ve been impressed by the ability of the franchise to merge intuitiveness, humor and interesting gameplay mechanics into recognized IP, while simultaneously building up their own brand to toddlers and adults alike. I’m also a big advocate of making sure the “big business” of video games doesn’t forget about kids it it’s quest for the almighty dollar. So it was with great excitement that I opened my inbox to find an invitation to the new Lego #Minifigures Online closed beta this past weekend.
Last week, the national headlines in the US centered around the unthinkable. A pair of twelve year old girls attempted the brutal slaying of a friend and classmate in order to impress a fictional internet character. Not being a fan of that genre of entertainment, I have to admit that the “Slenderman” character, along with such horror sites as Creepypasta Wiki were all completely new to me. But as a parent, its influence on this pair of children (who will be tried as adults, it seems) is frightening. I can’t imagine sending my daughter to something as innocuous as a sleep-over party and the next day visiting her in the hospital, not because of any type of accident, but due to a pre-meditated senseless attack by those who she considered friends. The mere possibility chills me.
Despite the abundance of MMO’s on the market today, one constantly hears about the “aging MMO player base” and the speculation on how that will affect the development of MMO’s in the coming years. MMO gamers in their 30’s and 40’s are typically harnessed by time constraints which leads to a more casual play-style. Casual play demands goals that are more attainable with less time invested. Meanwhile, the younger player base becomes frustrated by the simplification of a game that can no longer hold their attention for more than a couple of weeks, and starts turning towards the instant gratification and re-playability of MOBA’s, further contributing to the “aging MMO player base”, and placing the MMO’s we know and love in danger of eventual extinction.
However, I may have a solution.