If you have a gamer in your family or circle of friends, then you have likely heard the terms ‘MMORPG’, ‘MMO,’ or ‘online-RPG.’
Essentially, they all mean the same thing – Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.
The most commonly known game which follows this format is called ‘Warcraft.’ However, a quick search through the Groupon Coupons page for GameStop and you will likely see some more familiar titles.
A MMORPG allows players from all over the world to connect to a central digital universe where they can take on the personality and traits of a video game character. Through this universe, these players can speak with, interact with, and help, as everybody makes their way through the game.
Interactivity is the biggest draw card for a MMORPG and is essentially what makes the game format so great.
These games are designed to require players to contact each other and solicit help from one another in order to advance through the game. This is done by either manual searching or by allowing the system to choose players to join on on the small adventures inside the game.
Once these small adventures are complete, players can either never see each other again or create groups where they can play together throughout the game.
As you can see, despite it being a video game, social interaction plays a significant and required role.
When they first started, these types of games were first developed by console manufacturers themselves. After all, a lot of online computing power and bandwidth is required to run these games. The downside of this, however, was that connectivity was restricted to players on the same platform. That is, Playstation, XBox, or PC.
Shortly after their popularity was evident, independent developers began to create their own game, including the one mentioned earlier, ‘Warcraft.’ The difference between these and the manufacturer designed games was that they were cross platform compatible. This means that players on a PC can also play against those using a Playstation or an XBox.
This interoperability is the very reason why the popularity of MMORPG games exploded and continues to thrive today.