Just what is a persistent universe? Here's the description for that genre/attribute:
Denotes any game that takes place in a constantly-running environment, even when the player is not actively playing the game. Attributes of such an environment include other players actively playing the game, game-created characters interacting with the environment or other players, etc. such that, when gameplay resumes for a particular user, the environment has changed from when the user last interacted with the environment.
Since most persistent universe games are played on remote servers, an internet connection is usually required to play them to perform updates to the game world.
That should cover it. (But note that Persistent Universe is an additional attribute when describing a game -- do not make it the only genre you select. There are going to be a full suite of MMOO games coming out, and they're not all fantasy RPGs like the current ones.)
I have the nagging thought in my mind that there might have been some games published that fit the persistent universe model that are *not* online-only -- I'm thinking of games that maybe simulate time in the game world by looking at the system clock and figuring out how much time has passed since you last played and adjusts accordingly, or maybe an old game that used a modem to update stats for some wargame, or something like that. Can anyone think of any such games that may have existed? If so, email us.
Much thanks to Dave for bringing this up -- in fact, I should've had the foresight to add it the day Everquest was contributed to the database. (smacks forehead) Doh!