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Editorial: RPG in MMO?

Posted Jun 08, 2006 by Dana Massey

Editorial: RPG in MMO?

Cari Davidson pens this new editorial on Today she asks "where is the RPG in the MMORPG?" Cari is among the newest crop of writers.

If you are reading this article, you’re probably familiar with the term MMORPG. The MMO part,” Massively Multiplayer Online” was coined somewhere to describe games like EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Eve-Online, and City of Heroes. At any given time, there could be hundreds, or even thousands, of players online simultaneously. I suppose that’s what makes the multiplayer part “massive”. I can accept that. Then there’s the RPG – Role Playing Game – part of the acronym. When I think of an RPG, I think of Dungeons and Dragons. The Dungeon Master always tells a story and brings the character on an adventure, the kind of adventure that inspires poetry, and somehow they involve YOU and make you feel as though you have just personally saved kingdoms and planets alike! When was the last time you remember an MMORPG making you feel like that? Is there something about it being multiplayer that detracts from the story?

By focusing on creating an entertaining story with good character development, computer-based RPGs like Baldur’s Gate, Wing Commander (…am I dating myself here?), Ultima, and Morrowind managed to keep me out of the sun for weeks at a time. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure book, where you are the hero… or perhaps the villain, but in either case, the story is told, and in the end, it is about you. You grow, gain experience and power, and maybe even find a love interest along the way. Finally, you confront your greatest challenge and emerge victorious! …And they lived happily ever after.

You can read more here.


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