I don’t get MOBA games (but that’s okay)

I have played seventy minutes of ‘DOTA 2’ in my life. I have never played ‘League of Legends’ and up until recently, I thought that ‘Heroes of the Storm’ was a part of ‘Hearthstone’.


Call me ignorant, but I fail to see the appeal of multiplayer online battle arenas. MOBAs, they’re called colloquially by the current generation of gaming’s e-sport enthusiasts, but to me DUMP would be a better acronym.

For the record, that stands of Dudes Unironically Mouse Pressing.

Despite spending much of my life involved in the gaming world, there are a handful of genres and popular conventions that I don’t understand. MOBAs, as you might be able to tell, rank chiefly on this list.

As I have been mulling over my lack of interest in this particular genre, I have made a vested effort to become more familiar with MOBAs as a whole. Even now, I have a ‘League of Legends’ stream open in one tab. 24,000 people are watching this stream, the chat seems to be having an absolute blast, but it just isn’t appealing to me.

To be fair, I can almost see why so many people find themselves enthralled by MOBAs. Each game has plenty of available characters and each has unique skills to master and manipulate. There is some degree of strategy between teams from what I have seen and communication is integral to success. The notion of outwitting and dominating opposing players is always a selling point in multiplayer games, and MOBAs exist solely to capitalize on this.

Maybe MOBAs are truly the opiate of the video gaming masses.

The core gameplay, which tasks players with defending different ‘lanes’, accruing experience and gold by defeating opponents, and destroying the other team’s base is where MOBAs really start to lose me. It is simple in premise – which probably has led to the absurd rise in the genre’s popularity – but I don’t see much more to it than that. There is more, I’m sure, a kind of metagame that appeals to the MOBA anointed, but it goes over my head in terms of its appeal. I tend to like obtuse games, but I’ll be damned if watching or playing a MOBA ever sounds like fun to me.

My lack of interest in the genre as a whole often raises eyebrows with other video game fans I converse with. MOBAs have become one of the most popular genres recently and the vast majority of gamers seem to enjoy them on one level or another. Talking to gamers and mentioning my lack of interest in ‘DOTA’ or ‘LoL’ tends to make be something that people can’t wrap their heads around. To each their own, I say, before gleefully playing just about any other game that has ever existed.

While I will never get MOBAs and some people will never get why I don’t have any interest in them, I think that’s a great indicator of just how broad the video game spectrum is. We live in an era where countless people can watch ‘DOTA’ matches on a given day and thousands of other people can spend their time plowing through indie game after indie game. Hell, others can spend their time speedrunning through ‘Mega Man’ while others build the perfect house in ‘The Sims’. Video games are all about being fun and fun means something completely different from person to person.

Just remember that the next time you find yourself perplexed by someone’s taste in video games that it’s okay, some dumb writer on the internet thinks that ‘League of Legends’ is dumb.


One thought on “I don’t get MOBA games (but that’s okay)

  1. I often compare MOBAs to traditional sports, regardless of the sport it’s usually played on the same ‘map’ and involves planning strategies with different team players to best the opposition. I’m not a fan of MOBAs, and likewise traditional sports, they just don’t offer enough variety to keep me interested and I find the communities built around them unappealing. But I’m ok with that, because it’s my choice to not be involved and glad that there are people out there who respect and won’t criticise me for not being part of it.


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