Why do MMOs have more of a community than pen-and-paper RPGs?

Tobold wrote a fascinating article last week on a topic I’d never really thought about – why is it that MMOs at least appear to have a far bigger community online than pen-and-paper games?

Obviously, MMOs are a larger phenomenon in society. And equally, Tobold’s better known as an MMO blogger than a tabletop blogger. But beyond that, he’s got some interesting thoughts on the difference he sees when he blogs on the two subjects:

“Two groups of players playing the same adventure with the same set of rules will end up having two very different experiences. On the one side that is the force of pen & paper roleplaying, the infinite variety and freedom. The most linear pen & paper adventure has more freedom than the most sandboxy MMORPG. On the other side that is a weakness, because without a common experience there is not much of a community. The community in a pen & paper game is limited to the people sitting around the table, who do have a common experience of the game. But anything you can write about that is only of very limited relevance to anybody who wasn’t there.”

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