People who fail to grasp the true nature of MMORPGs give the classic argument against gamers when they feel strongly about the games that they play – “It’s just a game.” While it remains true that MMORPGs at their very core is still a game, people who have gone through the experience of entering an online game and actually immersing himself within its unique and interactive environment develop a certain degree of realization that what they have just entered transcends into something that is more than just a game.
Many players have started with MMORPGs as nothing more than innocent individuals looking for that typical game experience found in a vast majority of video games nowadays. What they discover within is infinitely more complicated and engrossing than that – a living, breathing world within a world, a piece of society within society.
Players are still people
Being in an MMORPG and walking its world is nothing different than our regular adventures in the real world. In the same way that your character walks down an NPC village to purchase equipment and ingredients, we walk the streets of the city and interact with a lot of characters in our lives. The same can be said for every player that you have encountered in the game – at the root of it all lies a person like yourself, with his own thoughts and views of the world, with his own knowledge to share.
This is a good reason why a lot of MMORPGs strongly advocate its social features – to bring more players together within a world and create a shared experience that can never be forgotten. True enough, many players have answered this call very strongly and not only have they gone to the effort of actually bringing other players together but also have taken things to the next level by bringing these links of friendship to real-life context, such as actually hearing one another’s voices in the guild VoIP service, for instance.
Reality seeps its way into Fantasy
It is a known fact that a vast majority of MMORPGs nowadays boast themes that are immensely different from real-life – fantasy, science fiction, among others. However, despite these obvious boundaries, players who bring their own experiences into the game bring a piece of their own realities with them.
Picture yourself logging into the major player hub of the game, and hearing talk of who won the presidential elections, of the latest tragedy that has struck a state, or even simple greetings of the occasion such as Christmas or Valentine’s. Even if these concepts do not actually exist in the game, the fact that every player brings in these pieces of information, these parts of their reality, into the game, our own world manages to encompass this virtual world.
This is perhaps the secret behind the success of a lot of online games: they give such a strong resemblance or advocacy of the real world that players are inherently drawn to them regardless of the features that the game offers. The fact that players can establish connections with the real world even in a virtual environment makes online games a viable place to make friends and share information just like people do in the real world.