No, I’m not talking about Puzzle Pirates and its Bejeweled Bilging and Dr. Mario Sailing. I’m talking about fully realized games encapsulated within games.
Many moons ago (okay, a couple of decades of moons), I played Ultima Online. In UO, I had a Chess set, and I could sit down at a table and play Chess with another player. On days when I didn’t feel like making hats with my tailor, or guarding the pass with my guild extorting money from random travellers, I would sit in a specific Inn frequented by Chess players and play.
In EverQuest, it was the one thing I always wanted. They did give us Gems, a game to play while waiting between pulls or watching your mana bar refill. But it was single player, and pretty much sucked.
In World of Warcraft… well, Blizzard gave us jack shit, but the guys who made the Cosmos add on gave us Chess and Othello and other games, and even made them multi-player, but they were global, you didn’t have to be anywhere near your opponent.
Other games also pretty much gave us nothing…
I miss the simple pleasure of sitting in a (virtual) room with another player and playing a board game. I would love to see more encapsulated games inside MMOs. And really I would love to see those games played in the game world itself, and not in a window that passerbys can’t see.