MMORPG, an abbreviation of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game is a type of a video game where players are in a virtual game world, where they are able to interact with other players connected to an online network. Usually in a fantasy world, players get to assume a role of a character and are able to control that character’s actions.
Sometimes Free MMORPG titles are played throughout the world, and have players of different nationalities come together in that fantasy world where they get to interact. MMO Games are a billion dollar franchise with Western revenues exceeding $1 billion in 2006, $1.4 billion in 2008, and by 2010, World of Warcraft, one of the most popular MMORPG games, had 12 million subscribers overall.
The History of MMORPG Games
Thirty years and hundreds of MMORPG prior, this type of social gaming originated from earlier fantasy role playing games that involved assigning a specific character to each player and then using the imagination to continue the adventure.
The first graphic virtual world where players on different computers could interact in a virtual space was Mazewar, and this was introduced in 1974. This was a first-person perspective view of a maze where players can shoot each other. It was first introduced using a serial cable, but a few months later was enhanced to be played across the ARPAnet, the beginnings of the modern Internet.
Decades later, by the turn of the century, game companies realized how profitable MMORPG had become, so the concept expanded to new video game genres, beginning the next generation of MMORPG. These big-budget games have been designed to invite more players with stunning visuals and better gameplay. 2007′s Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar was one of the first to meet success, followed by Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.
Today, it has taken the online world by storm with the MMORPG World Of Warcraft being one of the most played games in North America, and the whole online gaming concept claiming a foothold in popular culture. With tie-ins with films like Star Wars, Star Trek and Stargate Worlds, some of the games in development are expecting success upon release.
MMORPG Games share a common ground!
With very different developers, goals, budgets and worlds, no two MMO are absolutely the same. However, a lot of them share the same characteristics: progression, social interaction, in-game culture, and character customization.
In progression, the characters have to advance somehow. This involves any form of experience points that allows the players to move forward to new levels. This can be done by gaining virtual wealth, the ability to use heroes, or the items received after defeating opponents.
Social interaction is also a common thread in most MMORPG titles you can find here in the MMORPG List. The games usually have in-game guilds or clans that allow a group of people to interact and strategize with each other, taking in roles to protect other players from damage or healing players from the team. Most games also allow speaking to other players while exploring the landscape.
Because of the amounts of time a player spends online, an in-game culture may arise. This involves developing a sort of “language” that players share as well as inside jokes that only players of that game could understand.
In character customization, players get to base their characters on their real-life personalities. Depending on the MMORPG games, this could involve wearing the same clothes and having the same hobbies.
MMORPG Games are fun!
This new genre of a virtual world where you don’t have to get out of the house is a technology that the youth has been born into. This new format for gameplay has revolutionized gaming and the youth is almost obligated to try it out. From MMORPG this experience, they find that there is no better answer to the question, “what are the advantages” of MMORPG Games than this fact. They are ultimately, games, and games are fun. Killing monsters with your friends while meeting new people is a great way to spend the time and bond. It brings people of very different walks of life in one world, where they wouldn’t get to interact otherwise. Technically speaking, they also allow players to see how the characters evolve. The constant quest of knowing what could happen to the character, the accumulation of items in the game and the competition with other players keeps them hooked.
MMORPG Games can also be educational!
Beyond the obvious fun factor, players also get to improve reaction times, memory and tactical thinking as strategies are needed to win against opponents. This, in moderation, can prove to be a better alternative to what other people do for fun, such as watching the television or surfing the internet. This way, there is still some interaction and at the end of the day, the players get gratified by seeing their characters improve. You can read about MMORPG here on Wikipedia, too.
In summary, MMORPG are not all bad, as the media seems to suggest. It encourages community building, social interaction, as well as strategic thinking. The beautiful visuals, the landscape, the virtual worlds all contribute to making the games great and participative. From the humble beginnings of role-playing on a table with other people, the platform has been evolving and progressing based on the consumers, the people who play the games. Gaming has come a long way from where it started, and being able to be a part of this constant evolution should be humbling. Compared to other activities that the youth engages in today, online MMORPG gaming might be the least of society’s concerns.
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