chapter  7
24 Pages

Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games

WithMark Chen, Riley Leary, Jon Peterson, David W. Simkins

This chapter describes multiplayer online role-playing games (MORPGs) in which players participate through networked connections to collectively build a narrative or experience with a game that persists, independent of who is logged in. Many different flavors of multiuser text-based games exist, serving different audiences and featuring different affordances. Some focus on battling monsters (MUDs), some on social interaction with other players, and some on collective storytelling and role-play. MUDs operated from a variety of code bases and operational models. Outside of university environments, dial-up access was typically required either to access a MUD directly or to connect to an information service supporting the MUD. A major change moving from MUDs to MMORPGs is that games transitioned into being paid services as they became commercial ventures rather than hobbyist activities run by students and academics. The MMORPG section also included a look at the co-creation of gaming, positive and negative effects, real-market trading, and guilds.