These days, some radical people would go as far as calling MMORPG games “a plague,” especially the religious extremists. After all, think about World of Warcraft – there’s a lot of white and black magic, hordes of the undead, reincarnation is nicely reproduced, and a lot of other things who would give nightmares to some people who don’t have any better occupation than looking for evil where everything is as clean as a white dove, if you ask me. The funny part is that this kind of games hasn’t simply “materialized” out of thin air with the first text-based MUD clients, because my opinion is this – the freedom of the spirit allowing you to impersonate someone else is the first brick at the roots of the entire MMORPG world we see today, and here’s what I have been able to figure out today…
In those early days of mankind, when dinosaurs were roaming the land freely and our ancestors were living in dark, cold caves, some guy in a cave started talking to himself, walk around like a looney, fight with his own shadow, and sometimes even talk with animals. It all ended when he tried to talk with a dinosaur, but since the dinosaur saw him as dinner…this short story ends here, but I see it as the first occurrence of “role playing…”
After a few thousand years, when communities became larger and larger, I think multiplayer role playing started to appear, especially in those locations where crazy people where kept together. They also had dungeons available now, so this is naturally leading us to…
…the Multi-User Dungeon(sometimes “Domain” or “Dimension”), shortly known as “MUD,” an early text-driven multiplayer computer game combining elements of role playing, hack and slash games, and social chat rooms. I happen to know a few guys who were crazy about those games, although they always seemed no fun to me.
Finally, everything became a world wide insanity as soon as World of Warcraft became popular, but – as you probably know already – WoW wasn’t the first MMORPG, because this badge is being shared by classics like Ultima Online or the “ancient” Newerwinter Nights delivered through America Online back in 1991.
Anyway, there’s a lot of gaming history to talk about, but I don’t want that. All I want to point out is the freedom offered by this kind of games, since I have no idea where you can kill your boss, your neighbors, and all your friends, and then get away with it. Well, regarding the boss, if he finds out you were that level 25 undead priest who kicked his level 30 human rogue’s ass…you may not get away so lightly, but that’s life, after all!
I was just about to leave you here, but you must remember that the Wrath Of The Lich King release date is getting near, so if you’re still one of those far away from this fascinating MMORPG world, and one of its shining gems of this moment, World of Warcraft, giving it a try won’t hurt. After all, when you don’t have enough freedom in the real life, why not try the virtual alternative?