What are MMO games?
According to Wikipedia, “A massively (or massive) multiplayer online role-playing game or MMORPG is a multiplayer computer role-playing game that enables thousands of players to play in an evolving virtual world at the same time over the Internet.”
In my own words, MMOs are unique to all other game genres because they are totally based on community. Literally hundreds of thousands of players interact together in real-time in a virtual world. They form little groups and fight battles together, search for treasure and valuable items, and sometimes even intentionally serve as a nuisance to other players. Sub-communities called “clans” or “guilds” are formed as people commit to fight alongside each other, help each other and work toward common goals together. In a clan everyone is (usually) important because everyone brings unique characters with specific skills and abilities that are necessary for defeating the opponents, whether that be a virtual monster in a quest/mission or a fight against people in another guild. Because these guilds consist of characters played by real people, behind the scenes you’ll find a lot of the same drama that often take place in real-life communities (called “e-drama” in the gaming community).
Here’s an example of an in-game look at Guild Wars. (Click the image to see it full-size.) All the people you see standing around represent other real-life people sitting in front of their computer playing in the virtual world at the same time I am. I can privately or publicly interact with any of these people. In the example of this picture, everyone is dancing together to celebrate the end of a successful beta testing event. (See the one guy even doing an in-air cartwheel!)
[tags]World of Warcraft, MMORPG, MMO, spirituality[/tags]
Posted on January 19, 2007