Cigarettes and MMO: Asian MMOs designed so players can smoke

There’s always room for one more oddball story, and today’s curiosity comes from (surprise) Asia, where it’s been revealed that some MMO games are designed with the smoker in mind.

Perfect World product manager Jon Belliss has been talking to MTV about the differences between Asian and Western MMO sensibilities, explaining that Eastern gamers enjoy grinding a lot more (which of course explains the love of RPGs over ther.). One thing he could never work out until recently, however, was why Western MMOs made use of a mouse and keyboard, while similar games from other side of the world are almost exclusively mouse-based. 

The answer is either funny or disastrous, depending on how much of a health freak you are — in Asia, many people spend their times in ‘Net cafes, chain smoking in one hand while MMO grinding with the other. It would seem that MMOs in the East are designed to cater to a rather crazy lifestyle choice. After all, why give up one addiction for another, when you can enjoy both?

This explains why Asian countries don’t suffer from ridiculously high morbid obesity rates — they’re sitting down all day playing computer games like us, but are cleverly keeping the weight down with excessive, atrophying cigarettes. I think I need to pick up a carton of Silk Cut.

Jim Sterling