Admittedly, this idea spawned from a Reddit thread I saw a few days ago on the MMORPG subreddit, but it's also one I've had click-clacking around my head ever since I watched Amazon's show, Upload. If you could choose to live in any MMORPG world, would you and if so which one? And like the Reddit thread which talks about being reincarnated (which is how it would essentially work if we were talking the premise of Upload) into an MMO's world, you wouldn't be the player character, rather just a regular old NPC living your life.
An obvious answer might be the old Life is Feudal MMO as everyone can be considered just a regular person living their life, but I'm not sure I'd want to live in the gritty reality of the Middle Ages. I'd look for a world that is both fantastical and somewhat safe for a regular old Joe like myself. Something that I would want to go explore on holiday, but also stay away from the seedy parts of the world, lest I find myself waking up reincarnated in the next game.
I've thought about living in World of Warcraft's Stormwind. The tall, stone buildings, high walls and vibrant people of the Alliance would make me, just a lowly NPC, feel a bit safe. However it does get attacked enough that I might not want to spend my eternal afterlife dodging Horde attacks on occassion.
Another game I've thought about is The Lord of the Rings Online. I'd love to be put in the body of a Hobbit of the Shire. For most of the Third Age, the Shire was a peaceful place where the troubles and cares of the outside world didn't seep in and break the people living there.
However, unlike the movies which didn't show this, LotRO is based off the books, so at some point Saruman is going to come scouring. Would I want to live through that tyranny, no matter how short lived it was, all for the sake of comfort, quiet, and good tilled Earth otherwise?
EVE Online was another I thought of, as everyone in in EVE is effectively immortal - when you die you simply download into a new clone. However, I then remembered that not everyone, even NPCs are capsuleers, so there was no guarantee I would be reincarnated as one.
There's Final Fantasy XIV, but the ongoing wars make it had for me to want to spend anytime outside of Kugane. DC Universe Online would be cool too, with all the super heroes running around to keep us safe. However, would I be willing to put up with the constant villain threat? Same with a game like City of Heroes. Second Life is quitely literally a second lease on life, with the MMO offering many a way to live, well, a second life. There are schools, people have built art, some artists even host in-game concerts. It would be the most like a scenario like we see in Upload, where you essentially "retire" to a home and world built to emulate our real one. Also, I hear Dwight Schrute plays it and can fly.
In the end, I might just choose The Lord of the Rings Online, and just come back an Elf. At least then, if I die in game I'll go to the uttermost West, to Valinor, and live out the days until the servers get pulled with mighty Elf Lords and the Valar.
What about you? If you could live in any MMORPG world as an NPC, would you and which world would it be? Let us know in the comments below.