Uncle Grim and the Hall of Fame
Posted on February 14th, 2013 by Jhaer

HallOfFameOur illustrious leader heard about someone’s MMORPG Hall of Fame. Go ahead and laugh. I did when I heard about it too. Anyway, Grimmy unleashed hell over at GameSkinny about it.

Allow me to add to the dog pile…

The first problem that I have with this Hall of Fame is the number of inductees. They did 5 last year and have done 5 again this year. Another year or two and they’ll be out of games that are worth a damn and will begin inducting games that are simply clones of other games. Give it enough years and Farmville will probably make the list.

When you have a limited pool to draw from, you should shoot for lower numbers but go deeper. If you are going to bother having an MMORPG Hall of Fame, you should induct one game per year.

Were it my Hall to run, the first game I’d induct would be EverQuest. The impact of that game cannot be denied by anyone. It brought MMOs out of the dark and into the light. When news sources that aren’t game news sources start mentioning your game, you’ve made an impact. When you are big enough for people to start claiming you are harming the children and need to be banned or regulated and people start setting up addiction clinics that mention you by name, you’ve made an impact. Anyway, I’d accompany that induction with an article, or series of articles, justifying the induction. Talk about MMOs prior to EverQuest and how the landscape changed afterward. You know… depth. And the coverage would be filled with “also rans”, the games of the same era that simply missed the mark on being the game that broke things open. Too late? Too bug ridden? I’d paint the MMO scene like the early grunge music scene. Yes, there were games before, and games after, but EverQuest was the Nirvana of the MMO world.

In the second year of my Hall, I’d probably induct World of Warcraft. Mostly, just to get it out of the way. It always works well right behind EQ. EverQuest brought MMOs out of the dark, World of Warcraft turned them into “serious business”. It’s like an art house film proving a new genre is viable, and then a studio comes along, makes a big budget blockbuster in the same genre and clears a boat load of cash at the box office, money hats for everyone.

From there, each year I would look for a game that did something first or did it best. I’d go back and pick up an old MUD or MUSH. I’d single out Asheron’s Call for its world events and changing storyline – the player involvement and how everything played out for the Shard of the Herald is a story that should be told and retold. Like Grim says, a Hall of Fame should be about more than just links and stats. It needs to be about stories, about people, about capturing moments in time. Every item in the Halls needs to tell the visitors why it deserves to be there, imparting the history of MMORPGs.

Hmm… a real physical MMORPG Hall of Fame… I smell a Kickstarter! Would support the building of an actual MMORPG Hall of Fame?