Richard Bartle Asked Midjourney to Generate Avatars of 15 MMOs — Can You Guess Which MMO Each is Supposed to Represent?


Richard Bartle, MMO/virtual world pioneer, has been playing around with  Midjourney lately, and was curious how the AI image generator would visually interpret MMO avatars across the decades:

"I went to Midjourney and gave it the following prompt: 'character from [name] MMORPG //photorealistic –ar 2:4", where [name] is the name of a past or present virtual world. Points to note: Midjourney doesn't seem to have much data on some of these; there's a huge preponderance of white, female characters; for MUD and Second Life, I put 'virtual world' rather than 'MMORPG'."

Here's an alphabetical list of the virtual world avatars depicted here:

  • Age of Conan
  • City of Heroes
  • Crowfall
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online
  • Eve Online
  • EverQuest 2
  • Lineage 2
  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • New World
  • Old School Runescape
  • Second Life
  • Star Citizen
  • Star Wars Galaxies
  • Star Wars the Old Republic
  • Word of Warcraft

Three are above in Panel 1. Here's three more from Panel 2:



Here's six more MMO avatar sets to identify — and answers at the very bottom of this post:

363794365_10161251364760452_7171287399149372641_nPANEL 3

363785130_10161251364590452_3887522821398401171_nPANEL 4

363798954_10161251364555452_9067072783771638321_nPANEL 5

Answers are below; Richard posted the entire set with labels on his Facebook here, which I'm republishing on New World Notes with his lovely permission. His full set includes many more MMOs/virtual worlds, 36 in all, which reveals some interesting patterns:

Of the 144 images he generated in Mindjourney, "over a hundred of which depict female characters," Richard reports. "Only World of Warcraft, Old School Runescape, WildStar, Albion Online, MUD, Second Life, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Trek Online, Runescape 3, Age of Conan and Dark Age of Camelot have more male characters than female ones.

"I don't know what this says about virtual worlds, their players or Midjourney, but I'm sure there's at least a Masters thesis in there somewhere."

Agreed! I'm especially intrigued that Midjourney's visualization of Second Life avatars seems totally non-stereotypical, but maybe that's just me.

Anyway, here's the world avatars depicted:

  • PANEL 1: World of Warcraft, old school Runescape, Crowfall
  • PANEL 2: New World, Lineage 2, Eve Online
  • PANEL 3: City of Heroes, Second Life, Lord of the Rings Online
  • PANEL 4: Age of Conan, D&D Online, Star Citizen
  • PANEL 5: Star Wars Galaxies, EverQuest 2, Star Wars: Old Republic

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