# Why MMORPG is not a game
###### tags: `games` `mmorpg` `rpg` `mmo` `sociology` `social` `history` `science`
In 1952, Roger Caillois defined the game activity with six core characteristics (see **[Man, Play and Games](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/338339.Man_Play_and_Games)** book):
1. *It is free, or not obligatory.*
2. *It is separate (from the routine of life) occupying its own time and space.*
3. *It is uncertain, so that the results of play cannot be pre-determined and so that the player's initiative is involved.*
4. *It is unproductive in that it creates no wealth and ends as it begins.*
5. *It is governed by rules that suspend ordinary laws and behaviours and that must be followed by players.*
6. *It involves make-believe that confirms for players the existence of imagined realities that may be set against 'real life'*
Will consider these characteristics in relation to MMORPG.
1. The free nature of entertainment game activity suggests "people play, if they want only, when they wants, and as much as they wants". There's minority of such kind of players In MMORPG. They named as ultracasual and are treated as outcasts. Maintaining an acceptable social and group status in formal communities and friendly companies requires systematic work at the level of the others, visiting team events, etc. Just casuals (not ultra) are people who get in the game for few months, and during the first period stubbornly catch up with the rest, raising the level of avatar and ammunition, studying the tactics of passing, etc.
2. Avatar-mediated affairs in virtual world of MMORPG are not limited either by time or by boundaries of the world. There's possibility to transfer avatar to another virtual world.
3. Indefinite outcomes are characteristic for a small number of MMORPG sessions only, with high level of task complexity. However, the choice of complex tasks reduces efficiency (productivity). To reach utilitarian goals, users choose deliberately easy and familiar tasks.The pleasure obtained from performance of these tasks is due of satisfaction of utilitarian needs, as well as friendly communication during the process of coordinated activities.
4. Activities in MMORPG are productive because the goods created therein have a consumer value. A return of the general situation "to the beginning of the party" is impossible.
5. There are no conventions other than penalties for disturbing public order on non-role servers.
6. Avatar-mediated activity in virtual worlds is not fictitious, and virtual reality is not surreal.
We can see that no one key characteristic is related with MMORPG, based on Caillois' definition. If we take one-time slice of activities that players are engaged in virtual worlds and check them against the list, full compliance will be found for a very small part of players who plays in virtual world in some regular game. Therefore, the assignment of MMORPG as a group of entertainment video games has no basis and should be recognized as an mistake.
\* *Free translation from Russian of the part of Belozerov Sergey's scientific work [VIRTUAL WORLDS OF MMORPG: PART I. DEFINITION, DESCRIPTION, CLASSIFICATION](https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/virtualnye-miry-mmorpg-chast-i-opredelenie-opisanie-klassifikatsiya.pdf)*
\* Thanks coolcono for the corrections.