Ironically, the term “meaningful” has a long history of not meaning much of anything with MMOs. Back in 2015 I did a Perfect Ten about terms that we can really get rid of for good reason, and meaningful was on the list. It was on there for a good reason, too; “meaningful” is so easily, well, stripped of all meaning by applying it anywhere. Saying that a game has meaningful combat doesn’t inherently mean anything because the dictionary definition of the word can be applied to almost anything without technically being incorrect. That doesn’t mean that the concept of meaningful interactions isn’t useful, though. It just means that we have to talk about the term, what it’s supposed to mean, and why we still want it to have a purpose even if it doesn’t. So let’s start with the very beginning. What’s the point of something being meaningful in an MMO? As an adjective, “meaningful” is usually applied to something else within a game. No marketing department not under the influence of psychotropic drugs would claim that this MMO is just stuffed full of meaning, but the marketing department would argue that a game has meaningful choices or meaningful combat… Read full this story
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