Massively multiplayer online role-playing games, more commonly referred to as MMORPGs, continue to gain popularity. Whether this upward trend will continue is a topic of debate among many. This growing hobby has attracted participants from all walks of life. Though computer games have been around for years, MMORPGs are different in numerous facets. While a healthy form of entertainment for some men, women, and children, others develop something more akin to addiction. Are these increasingly played games a good form of entertainment that will last or merely a passing fad? In the end, the consumers will decide as sales continue to increase with some companies posting over 2,000,000 subscribers worldwide.
Massively multiplayer online games are nothing new. Many war and strategy MMOs have been successful. The MMORPG is enjoying a more recent success. Ultima Online, released in 1997, popularized the genre. Though, text based and table top roleplaying games have been popular since the 1970s. Modern roleplaying games take inspiration from these older "pen and paper" games, such as Dungeon & Dragons. One advantage over these old tabletop roleplaying games is that the participants do not have to gather in one place to play. The players are given freedom to create entire backgrounds and personalities for their characters. One advantage over these old tabletop roleplaying games is that the participants do not have to gather in one place to play. The players are given freedom to create entire backgrounds and personalities for their characters. While for some this may seem daunting, the game history is already in place to draw ideas from.
MMORPGs draw a diverse crowd. Single men and women, high school and college students, married couples, and entire families all find company and adventure in these worlds. It can be a rizk casino release, a departure from the real world into a realm of fantasy or science fiction. Most of these games can be played by even the casual gamer, so no one is excluded. Some people find new friends or grow closer to those they already knew. People have even been known get married after meeting in game. Distance is of no matter, as a person in the United States can play with those from Canada, England, and even Australia. Playing can help those that are away from their family, disabled, or just unsociable make friends or keep in contact. Of course, one does not have to be in a disposition to want to play. Some play these games because they were derived from other things they enjoyed. Star Wars Galaxies attracts a large number of Star Wars fans, while World of Warcraft attracts fans of the Warcraft real time strategy game series. Most of these games are geared to welcome newcomers as well as satisfy old fans.
While the MMORPG is a form of entertainment enjoyed a few hours a day by many, equivalent to how some watch television, others play obsessively. Often these players spend more than sixty hours a week in the game, spending real money to purchase items or characters from such places as Ebay, and ignoring other hobbies, work, friends, or family. Hour after hour in front of a computer is known to cause many health issues, as well. Eye strain, a higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome from typing, and obesity from physical inactivity, just to name a few.
Aside from the physical negativities sometimes experience, there are other frustrations. Often times people encounter griefer. A griefer is defined as an online game player who willfully and habitually disrupts game play. There are numerous ways in which a person can grief other players. Some are intent on the disruption of roleplay, often times by "spamming" the chat window with rude comments or random letters. Others participate in corpse camping which is when the players have participated in player vs. player combat or PvP resulting in one of the players demise. The winner then continues to kill the player when ever they try to return to life. Two other types of griefing are stealing another players kill or taking loot before it’s been fairly discussed on who should have it. Most games take measures to minimize this griefing of other players by giving the option to report the person to the game masters in the game. Punishments vary from warnings to being suspended from the game. Sometimes this is only for a few hours, but depending on the severity, may be permanent.