Time Lord, finally had time to read the entire thread. Whew. This touches on so many concepts I fear your intentions may get lost. So I will try to tease out one small part here for comment. The phrase I quoted is important. In that gamer psychology or maybe let's keep it simpler, gamer preferences, come into play. With all the games out there these days, solo and MMO, and the whole wide world of things to do besides, I don't buy the complaints you encountered. Sure they may not enjoy just bashing monsters. (Or bathing them haha! BORING!) But there is SOMETHING they enjoy that is keeping them there. Maybe it's the desire to get the reward of leveling, maybe they want to be ranked higher than others, maybe it's that they simply have invested too much time and they don't want to give it up. These players always need to be asked, "Then why do you keep playing it?" If they stopped, and the MMO's player numbers dropped, the MMO and the larger industry might have to adjust. But there is no need with people willing to "complain" and keep playing. We get grindy MMO after grindy MMO. Something keeps them there... is it ego? I don't think you can necessarily say that. So what does keep people playing non-Cthulu games? Because games are designed first and foremost to be entertainment. Some people encounter things in real that terrify them and they don't like to encounter it in their entertainment. Call of Cthulu was not the best selling novel ever. Nor was Darkest Dungeon the highest seller ever. People enjoy being heroes, being the king, happy endings, being in control of their surroundings as an escape from real. They want their egos stroked, and sometimes, that's not a bad thing. Life can be hell. Gaming has given many, as you know, as sense of self and liberation that they could not get in other arenas. Reminding us of our smallness in games is not for all or even a majority. In fact, it can be downright dangerous for some people. We cannot survive without some level of achievement and affirmation in their lives. I promised to stay away from psychology so I will stop there! Cthulu can be a component of thoughtful gaming, but it is not the only one. It is not even the end goal that maximizes every player's experiences. The things that are non-Cthulu can't be thrown into the realm of the selfish sense of "ego", any more than saying people who like to play card games are egomaniacs. No, there is entertainment on many levels. The simple joy of figuring out a logic puzzle does not do injustice to questing or gaming or self or anyone else. You can't only emphasize our need to enjoy what is outside ourselves by diminishing our sense of ourselves. Both are important and both are real. As a side note: the examples of forum things you mentioned were not Cthulu in the sense that they were not realities that cannot be grasped and remain unaffected by others. They were changed sometimes in light of players who knew well what was going on. That is not Cthulu. I have no opinion on whether that was justified or not... just saying, not everything can be put under that classification.