Why do you play PBBGs over more flashy/modern games?

Why do you play PBBGs over more flashy/modern games?


Alot of PBBGs are also text-based, but even those that aren’t are still somewhat restricted by the medium; even given the power of modern web browsers, our most impressive games will not be as flashy as many offerings on other platforms.

So why do you bother? What brings you to a PBBG despite countless other games on different platforms also competing for your time and money?


No takers, huh? Alright, I’ll bite. :stuck_out_tongue:

For me, it’s a combination of accessibility, familiarity, and immersion. I do enjoy a pc or console game now and then, but when I play other games I always feel aware that I’m playing a game. Even the most polished and immersive experience is only a short term escape into whatever world I’m experiencing at the time.

With PBBGs though, even ones that don’t look all that great, the medium itself makes a persistent universe somehow feel more real and consequential for the long term. I don’t get this from persistent games on other platforms, and definitely not on browser games that aren’t persistent.

There’s something about this exact mix that feels like an extension of other things that I’m doing online, and therefore inherently more immersive as if the experiences in my online life and my online game life overlap.

I’d love to someday learn more about the psychology around this, but at the very least I can say I that when I play a PBBG seriously, it evokes a commitment that I’ve never experienced with other games. It’s definitely more work, but it’s also more rewarding.

What about you?


I don’t actually play any right now. But I was heavily invested into playing super cool space game called Chosen Space.

It was a game was great in so many aspects while simultaniously having lack of any kind of development or maintenance for years until it was finally closed down in 2015. In short you were a captain of a space ship, mining trading lining passengers combating others… But you were able to have more than one ship, but only moving in one at a time, spending your daily turns -> so rich people didn’t get richer. Also everything you did was more efficient if you did it together with other people so the game was very team-play oriented.

The biggest difference was definitely the community. The second you came into that game you received probably like 10 invites to join other factions in a minute. And when you did join everybody was hanging on chat and started personally tutoring you right away, because the game was hard to learn otherwise and there was lack of official tutorials. The game was incredibly team-play oriented and the more players you had in your faction the better so everybody kept recruiting newbies to their factions. With no limits on faction size there were factions of up to 150 players although most of the time factions weren’t removing inactive players regularly so the biggest factions maybe had 60 active players.

This game had combat but losing ships was an expensive thing so instead factions rellied more on influencing others and avoiding big wars with other factions at all costs, which brings us to the second point I liked most about it: politics

Yup… if you were a leader of your own faction you had to battle in propaganda and influence other factions to achieve your goals…the politics were awesome.

The persistent nature of the game wasn’t overpowering to new comers at all. All big factions failed eventually and got smaller and this probably had to do with big alliances forming when one of the factions got two big for others to handle on their own. In reality there was also almost nothing to gain in that game if you went to war. You could never make your wars profitable.

And having a faction stand up to the test of time was just something very satisfying. Also the persistent nature and no end goal make it more natural. When you get to the top, you get lazy and complacent having no bigger goals to do and others then eventually overtake you. Just like in real life.


I want to add that because there is no artificial rounds in truly persistent games, people get more attached to the things they build up in the game and are therefore more dedicated than just playing one more new round of Travian or some other game like that and eventually get bored of it.

Sometimes it’s also a double edged sword though when players who lose everything in a war quit the game because they don’t want to spend months or a year to get back to the level they were.


There’s a similar discussion happening over on MWG for anybody interested: