Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games

The People, the Addiction and the Playing Experience


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About the Book

This book is about the fastest growing form of electronic game in the world—the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). The evolution of these self-contained three-dimensional virtual worlds, often inhabited by thousands of players, is described here. This work also delves into the psychology of the people who inhabit the game universe and explores the development of the unique cultures, economies, moral codes, and slang in these virtual communities. It explains how the games are built, the spin-offs that players create to enhance their game lives, and peeks at the future of MMORPGs as they evolve from a form of amusement to an educational, scientific, and business tool.
Based on hundreds of interviews over a three-year period, the work explores reasons people are attracted to and addicted to these games. It also surveys many existing and upcoming games, identifying their unique features and attractions. Two appendices list online addiction organizations and MMORPG information sites.

About the Author(s)

R.V. Kelly 2 is the former head of Virtual Reality, Artificial Life, and Distance Learning Application Development at Digital Equipment Corporation and has been building synthetic worlds (for immersive biology, language development, and knowledge engineering) for 20 years. He currently works for Hong Kong Academy building worlds for the teaching of Chinese. He lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

R.V. Kelly 2
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 207
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1915-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5528-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Appeal of the Unreal      1

1. Out of the MUD: The Evolution of Synthetic Worlds      13

The Deep Past      18

D&D and MUDs      19

2. MMORPG Culture      24

A Quick Primer      25

Failsafe      28

Quests: Frodo, Take This Ring to Mordor      30

Guilds: The Three Thousand Musketeers      34

Game Economies: Greed as a Creed      36

Killer Be Killed      40

3. The Psychology of MMORPG Players      46

4. Attraction and Addiction      62

5. Sampling the Games      100

6. The Private World of MMORPGs      151

Spawned Enterprises: Go Forth and Multiply      151

Macros and Bots and Scripts, Oh My      156

Slang: Who You Callin’ a Twinked Noob      159

7. Making a MMORPG      166

Game Design      167

Art      168

Animation      170

Programming      171

Databases and Servers      172

Story, Sound, and Music      173

Final Touches      174

8. The Future of MMORPGs      177

Appendix      193

Bibliography      194

Index      197

Book Reviews & Awards

“valuable…a solid introduction to the on-goings of the MMORPG world”—Against the Grain.