Why aren't young people in Bangladesh more into Massively Multiplayer Online games?
While gaming itself has been around for decades now, the boom of online gaming is still taking shape. Online gaming in itself has variety to it, and all genres of online gaming seem to be more or less celebrated by gamers in Bangladesh. All except one – that is the relatively obscure Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) titles.
One may argue that PUBG is an MMO game and it isn't obscure at all. Therein lies the biggest reason why this genre is just not talked about enough amidst the gaming community in our country.
MMOs are NOT the same as all other online games. They are merely one particular brand of online gaming. These games offer entire virtual worlds where hundreds of players inhabit their avatars that are easily customisable, allowing for self-expression and, thus enables players to interact with each other. This adds a level of social connectivity through gaming that you really cannot find in any other medium of virtual entertainment.
And even though these games have been around for quite a long time and were quite literally the biggest thing in gaming before the e-sports scene blew up, most people today aren't entirely familiar with what I'm talking about when I tell them that I'm playing an MMO.
I have spent a good few months perplexed by this situation until I eventually learned to accept it. The e-sports scene, as fun as it is, has monopolised the attention of gamers nationwide. Competitive shooters, tactical battle arenas, and so much more offer unique gameplay options with the added incentive of having the ability to participate in competitions as teams to win awards.
While MMOs offer many of the same things, competitive gameplay is one thing they don't. To top it all off, many adolescents simply do not find MMOs worthwhile as their interest in gaming lies mostly in quick encounters that last only a handful of minutes and not in long adventures that span hours and might involve long drawn-out side quests.
And frankly, who can blame them? As much as I would love to live in my favourite fantasy worlds, it is important to realise that the majority of us cannot afford the time for any of that.
What they seek is entertainment that won't occupy half of their day. This added with the fact that there simply isn't a proper scene in the country invested in MMOs results in adolescents not even being aware of their existence. For one particular MMO, I personally adore, I managed to find a grand total of two other Bangladeshi residents playing it.
However, as an enthusiast in gaming, I do hope for that to change.
There is space for all forms of gaming to thrive, and I know for a fact that many young people will be turned off by competitive gaming and will opt for something that allows for a collaborative adventure with their friends. MMOs have been an excellent way for me to meet people from across the globe, and I hope for other Bangladeshi adolescents to have memorable experiences in these spaces as well.
Raian has discovered the secrets of the universe but will only share it with you if you send him a poem on IG: @raian_is_burning