Playing with dolls
Ok, I'll call them action figures if you perfer, but we all know deep down that action figures are just the name some clever marketing guy came up with so that he could sell dolls to boys without the social stigma that would normally be associated with boys playing with dolls.
Hmm. Maybe we can hire the same guy to re-brand comics so it's acceptable for adults to be seen reading them.
Look at the evidence; the classic MMOG is a heroic fantasy with dragons and wizards and heroes with swords and all that. It's fantasy action figures on a stick.
But the real revelation comes with City of Heroes/Villains. You know what the most successful part of this game is? The bit that everyone comments on and which wins it awards? It's the character creator where you get to design your character and then play dress up with them, choosing your costume from hundreds of different styles and colours. As you progress through the game, there are milestone points where your level of success allows you to add another costume or a cape, or special effects. The whole reward system of the game is geared toward playing dress up with your virtual doll.
But that's probably why I like it so much.