Ever heard somebody say that the world is getting smaller? It’s certainly true now, simply because of the technology that we have readily available to us. A person halfway across the planet is nothing more than a video chat or an email away. If you’re playing an MMORPG, you certainly know what I mean. A player in your guild could be someone who lives in another state, another country, or even another continent! Recently, I’ve thought a lot about the implications of this, and I’ve come to the conclusion that most MMO players don’t appreciate this aspect of online gaming enough.
It’s not to say that just because people are using this powerful ability of the Internet for purposes of entertainment that they are not truly appreciating it. On the contrary, I think anyone who reads this article understands and acknowledges how important the World Wide Web is. The point I’m making is that we’ve been spoiled by our plethora of options for communication, and that we’re starting to take our opportunities for granted. After all, just 20 years ago the only multiplayer option you had was your brother or sister sitting next to you while playing Duck Hunt on the NES. Nowadays you can be in California and join a quest with somebody from London. How cool is that?
For me, it’s taken a long time for this fact to sink in. Despite all the talk about globalization, and even the fact that I am working for a game developer that is bringing a game from China over to the U.S., it still wasn’t until recently that I began to realize what an amazing situation MMORPG players have been given. And if it weren’t for Facebook, I might have never had my sudden realization…
Something we do quite often here at ChangYou is browse our forums and social networking pages for user feedback. The other day while I was looking on our Facebook fan page to see what players had been saying, I noticed all the different networks listed next to the comments. It was as if the United Nations had decided to host a web forum on our page. For me, it was not only gratifying to see that our game had such worldwide appeal, but it made me appreciate how our game had succeeded in bringing people of such different backgrounds and cultures together to share in one common experience.
As the MMO with the largest global user base (a healthy 75 million players worldwide), Dragon Oath has truly done its job in bringing people together through gaming. For those of you who are interested in finding the most diverse playing field available, look no further than Dragon Oath. Players are immersed in a game where the virtual world surrounds them with players from different parts of the real world. In the game, it’s not uncommon for your guild to be comprised of players from a country you might know nothing about, nor is it unusual for you to be trading with someone who is thousands of miles away (especially if he turns out to be a Chinese gold farmer, but more on that in a future article…). I urge players to go beyond their usual routine in their MMORPGs. Strike up a conversation with the people you are questing with, learn a bit about who the player behind the screen is. Take advantage of this special opportunity you’ve been given, and make the most of your MMO experience.