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OP 12/07/08 12:19:03 PM#1
That is a tough question. If you disassemble todays typical mmo then look at the parts you might gat a feeling for its roots. Scary to think of m59 as a mmo, I think of it as the last incarnation of mud myself. Of course the popularity of the genera has caused a backlash in the virtual environments. Three dimensional was written in invisible ink but that wore away and 2.5d and platformers, hell anything goes these days. Pure text based can count as a mmo again. Then the fringe gets more ragged with these tourney types of fps games that vary all the way to something like guild wars which seems to impersonate a mmo more than actually be one in a first generation traditional where the genera might be going kind of narrow mindedness.
This is why your question is difficult to answer, today the group of games that are online and multiplayer with a pool of players to draw a group from are too many to slap one stereotype on. If you gave a title, then you could go on to having a sound discussion about the different features of that game that are traceable to different sources. As it stands the only answer I could give your question is they are copies of pen and paper games. From that perspective you can see how everything is related.