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What On Earth Is A MMORPG?

Jun 20, 2008
It's a strange word, and one you may have only come across either within gaming community forums or in game publications, but what exactly is a MMORPG? To break this acronym down into meaningful words, a MMORPG is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. To the uninitiated, that means about as much as the acronym, so let's break it down further to try to understand exactly what this is.

There are many different types and variations of computer games and video games available today, many of which have inherited their categories and genres from some of the earliest computer games first developed in the 70s and 80s. Some of these computer games involved playing a sports game against the computer, or completing certain puzzles or challenges, but some of the games make you take on the role of a character within the game, often with your character depicted on the screen.

Usually this involves you maneuvering your character about, interacting with the environment and with other characters in the game. These types of games have become extremely popular as they allow the player to be fully immersed within the game making it seem as though they are someone else. These games have been referred to as RPG, or Role Playing Games, simply because the player takes on a role within the game.

With the growing developments in internet and network technology, and with greater bandwidth and speed being available to a greater number of players, many computer games have allowed players to play against other people using the internet. In this way, one player in the UK can quite happily play against someone sitting in New Zealand, with no delay between their movements and actions - everything happens immediately for both players.

This adds a whole new dimension to game play, as humans provide two aspects that a computer can't really provide effectively. The first is unpredictability. Although computers can try to replicate this, it is never genuinely unpredictable. A computer is programmed to be unpredictable, but the level and nature of the unpredictability is, naturally, pre-programmed, meaning that eventually the unpredictability is predictable. Humans can not only be very random and unpredictable, but they can also be both very clever and original in tactics, and very stupid, making mistakes which may, or may not, turn out to be successful.

The other aspect is of course the interaction and conversation which goes on between players. When playing against a computer, you don't tend to talk to it, except occasionally to shout at it in anger. When playing against a human, the social interaction can become part of the fun and appeal of the game itself.

As games have developed, technology has improved, and games companies are able to expand the borders of what they can provide. A number of games are now available which combine the idea of RPG capability with the online element, but go one further and allow not just two or three players to compete against each other, but many thousands or even millions. It is these games, which involve vast numbers of people playing against each other online in a role playing game that has spawned the descriptive acronym MMORPG. The most popular MMORPG at present is World of Warcraft, with over 8 million players online.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about kids toys, dolls, and video games. You will find the best marketplace for kids toys, dolls, and used video games at these sites for kids toys, World of Warcraft, Online Games, dolls, and used video games.
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