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MMOs on BBC's Money Programme

Posted May 30, 2007 by Keith Cross

MMOs on BBC's Money Programme

This Friday the BBC's Money Programme will focus their attention on the world of online gaming. The show will look at the virtual world of Second Life and the fortunes that some have made there, as well as the huge growth and success of MMORPGs over the past few years.

Millions of us are opting out of real life and signing up to "live" in computer worlds like Second Life instead. And there is a fortune to be made there. Reporter Max Flint sets up shop in the cyber-world and finds out how it's possible to live a virtual life and make a real fortune. Multi-nationals like Reebok, Nissan and Calvin Klein are now also getting in on the act. Then there are fantasy games like World of Warcraft, which has over eight million paying members, and the newly-launched Lord of the Rings virtual world. Both are proof that there are real fortunes to be made in cyberspace.

More and more people are turning their backs on the real world to spend time on their computers in places that don't really exist. Whether it's on an artificial continent, a fantastic world of monsters, deep in space or in a city full of Superheroes - these virtual online worlds are attracting thousands of visitors every week. 'The Money Programme's reporter Max Flint travels deep into this alternative reality to meet the inhabitants who have seen a way to make serious money.

The programme explores two different examples of virtual worlds. First, places such as 'Second Life' which attempts to recreate, in an exaggerated version, the real world, with real trading and real money changing hands, but which is free to enter. Secondly, 'Massively Multiplayer Online Games' (MMORPG) in which players adopt amazing characters to explore fantasy worlds but which charge monthly subscriptions to participants.

The programme looks at the rapid growth of virtual worlds and meets its entrepreneurs who are hoping to strike it rich as virtual landlords and builders.

The programme also explores the phenomenal popularity of MMORPG and meets David Solari, Vice President of Codemasters Online Gaming, who has just launched a new game which he hopes will become one of the most popular in the world; it's based on J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings'. The programme investigates 'Virtual Crime' and how the industry is responding to MMORPG players who illegally trade items for real money.

Read more here.

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