Do MMORPGs Give a Sense of Belonging?
Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) are online based games that give a massive number of players to play simultaneously in different imaginary roles. My buddy Joe, who just so happens to own the best Tree Service in Long Island, also like me, loves playing MMO’s when he is not busy cutting down trees! He love it becuase fast internet speeds have enabled fast real time play where us players can also interact on audio. Game play may require solo or cooperation among players. Examples of popular MMORPGs are World of warcraft, Star wars and Guild wars
Types of MMORPGs
MMORPGs come in different forms;
- Fantasy – These games present imaginary worlds where players can make out imaginary lives engaging in common activities like mining, dating and so on. A good example is Second life.
- Sci-fi – These are games dealing with fictional worlds and technology for example Star wars
- War – These are combat games in first or third person shooter for example Guild wars
The exact lines are not distinct as many Sci-fi games are also war and strategy games.
MMORPGs require communication among players. Groups of players (clans or guilds) can make cooperative efforts to tackle challenges that will be mutually beneficial for all. Members can act as a unit to execute combat tactics in shooting games for example, or give their first aid kit to a wounded member.
MMORPGs will have moderators who control the game and its flow. The mod usually has more information than other players so that he can supervise game play.
Social experts have stated that MMO communities fit the conventional meaning of the term because;
- There is perception of similarity for example in the game terms
- There is unity in action
- There are social attachments between members
- There are common beliefs and ideas.
Relationships in MMO communities are just a reflection of relationships in the real world. Some partners become very close while others become very hostile to each other. Communication tools in the game like instant messaging makes these interactions even more real.
MMO communities take their relationships into the real world using social media. There are many social media groups dedicated to each MMORPG. Realities can get mixed up at times. A game can allow mining in play where the treasures are sold for Linden dollars. These Linden dollars can then be traded for real dollars in the real world in online markets. Some gamers have very serious dedicated players earning real big amounts in the real world.
MMO communities have developed a complete sub-culture with social rules, personalities and economics.
So, Joe like’s the outlet that MMO’s bring. But when thing it does not do is replace his true reality which has made him what he is today.