Worldwide gaming – Legacy?
Not so in other parts of the world. Outside the US the same gaming rig used by a 14 year old in Cleveland would be out of economic reach for a kid in Minsk. In Europe and Asia, distributed on-line gaming commands the attention of vastly larger audiences, fueled by the relatively low performance requirements of the hardware needed to play these games. All you need to play Ogame is a a browser and an internet connection, and one of almost any speed will do.
The trade off is that these games tend to move slower, and rely on metaphorically imagination to pull the player into the game. The lower levels of graphics also pull the player up and away from the point of contact with other players, and they move to a more strategic position. The browser based games tend to be about grand moves and sweeps of action rather than who cudgeled the monster first.
Client based games such as World of Warcraft have a large strategic component to them as well, but WoW’s vast popularity is due to the excitement of direct combat action. In WoW at the point of conflict, one actually strikes, shoots, zaps, or otherwise assaults an opponent. This is unlike Ogame where you never actually see any of the assault and battery taking place.
In client based games you see what happened right in front of you, in browser based games you read about it, and you are usually reading about the the results of a distant encounter. Again, kind of like life.
Because of the Cinematic like quality of client based games, distributed games are often thought of as “legacy”, which is code for “old and boring” while client side games are “new and exciting”. So how then to account for the remarkable growth of GameForge.de and their competition?
It’s what happens outside the game that makes them so popular. In Ogame while what happens on your planet and to your fleets is interesting, the real attraction is what happens between the players outside the gaming environment. The activity which surrounds the game is so absorbing, and so complex that the loss of boom and bang is minimized to a trifle.
You see, you can’t survive in Ogame alone, you need to have friends, again kind of like life, and how those friends organize provides the ultimate insight to Ogame and the future of web 2.0.