Out of the very, very few common qualities that World of Warcraft and Fallen Earth share, this one I notice the most: both titles are saturated with silly, quirky humor. Whether it be the thinly-veiled NPC name to a real world celebrity, goofy quests (one of which invariably asks you to dig through poo — what is UP with devs with this?), or laugh-out-loud interactions with the game world, they’re titles that never quite take themselves too seriously.
Heck, not even just those two games. Champions Online is quirky as all get-out (Foxbat FTW!), and Warhammer marinated itself in black humor that was always worth a chuckle.
Personally, I appreciate that. I’m never a person who can be serious for long — I love puns, teasing friends and looking at the sillier side of life. It doesn’t break immersion for me to have a game try to make me laugh, or at least smile. Jokes and humor have always been appreciated in my video games going back to the time when Syp was a wee laddie, cackling at the gags in King’s Quest and Space Quest. Pain, as the saying goes, lets you know you’re still alive. Laughter, as I see it, lets you know you’re still tolerable. And if you’re a special breed of person, freak everyone out in the nearby vicinity with your braying, unholy brand of chortles.
Of course, my viewpoint isn’t shared by all. Some gamers downright resent humor — particularly glaring, obvious, silly humor — popping its unwelcome head up in their super-serious quest to pwn n00bs and commit genocide on the local fauna. These grinches scowl at any attempt of a game to introduce levity in the midst of death, gore and epic loot drops. And if that’s your thing, then sure, there are plenty of MMOs out there that stamp down on the funny in fear of it taking over like Kevin Bacon infesting that midwestern town with sinful, sinful dancing in Footloose.
So out of curiosity, what’s your stance on this? Does humorous aspects of MMORPGs annoy or delight you? Are you too hardcore for a laugh, too uber for a tuber?