Today's discussion topic needs a smidge of clarification. I'm not asking you whether or not real-life kids should be playing MMOs, as plenty already do and it's great to be raising a future crop of gold farmers and extreme fashion designers.
What I am asking is whether child NPCs have a place in MMOs. When you think about it, most of our virtual worlds are nearly devoid of anyone under the age of 18 (except if you're in certain Asian titles where it seems like nobody, including yourself, has hit puberty yet). Whole cities are bustling with merchants and kings, yet not a single child is to be seen. If there are kids, they tend to be in place for a one-time unique quest or a special event, such as World of Warcraft's Children's Week
But with all of the war, slaughter, and volatile situations, is it a good thing that someone has whisked these kids off to safety? Would MMOs be more questionable with their content if a kid was to come stumbling along while you were skinning a boar or decapitating an Orc leader? Or would these worlds be more believable and immersive if the whole range of ages was represented?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!