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Shawn Rider March 7, 2006 MMORPGs: MUD to WoW “Pen-and-paper” game supplies (Plus a monthly subscription fee.) Required to play MMORPGs Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) 1978 Created by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw Entirely text-based

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multi user dungeon mud 1978
Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) 1978
  • Created by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw
  • Entirely text-based
  • Gave rise to splinter technologies that further developed text-based MMORPGs
neverwinter nights 1991 1997
Neverwinter Nights 1991-1997
  • First graphical MMORPG
  • Offered for subscription on America OnLine (AOL)
  • Peaked at 500K users in 1997
  • Sequel released in 2002
ultima online 1997
Ultima Online 1997
  • From a popular series of single-player RPGs
  • Developed by Richard Garriott and Ralph Koster
  • In 1998, 100K users
  • In 2003, 250K users
  • Still in play
everquest 1999
Everquest 1999
  • First major mainstream MMORPG
  • Released/developed by Sony Online Entertainment
  • Initiated a major flood of mainstream releases that continues
world of warcraft 2004
World of Warcraft (2004)
  • Developed by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Currently the fastest growing MMORPG
  • 1.5 million subscribers in 2005
  • Up to 500K users simultaneously online playing together
economic studies of everquest
Economic studies of Everquest
  • Edward Castronova, economist
  • In 2002 paper found surprising facts about game world economies and real world value
  • Norrath's GDP better than China, India
  • Norrath platinum more valuable in the US than Japanese Yen
  • Average gamer could earn $3.50 (USD) per hour playing Everquest
WOW US Gold 100 Gold = $3.49

WOW Euro Gold 100 Gold = $6.00

EQ2 Platinum 1 Plat = $3.81

FFXI 1 million Gil = $9.50

Current game world to real world conversion rates:
second life 2002
Second Life 2002
  • Not exactly a game
  • In-game tools for content creation
  • Users retain intellectual property rights
  • Embraces trade of game goods
tringo 2005
Tringo (2005)
  • Developed within Second Life
  • Published by Crave Entertainment for Game Boy Advance
  • Like “Tetris meets Bingo”
case study sociolotron
Case Study: Sociolotron
  • Independently created by Patric Lagny in 2003
  • Final version released in 2005
  • Anything-goes gameplay; almost any action is possible
  • Adults over 21 only

"Women just need to feel special. Even sex in the game gets boring if its just sex all the time-guys don't think of it as much as women and the fact I take the time to bring flowers or take them to a park and give them wine and food impresses women."


"At my age it has given me a chance to be different than I am ... without the danger or expense of doing it in the real world. After all, no one in their right mind would hire a 62 year old male hooker!"

not only about the sex there s politics too
Not only about the sex...There's politics, too.
  • Players fill key roles in government and civil structures
  • Prime ministers, parliamentary representatives, and judges are elected from players
  • Many players take these positions very seriously

"If a toon is running for office, then that toon shouldn't be seen on the train, fucking in public."



“There's no clemency. No retrial. Guilty until proven innocent. Even if the real criminal stands up, and there is proof, there just isn't any provision for these issues to be solved. If the decision has been made, it stands."

ultimately it s all about choice
Ultimately, it's all about choice
  • Most MMORPGs force players into an ethical paradigm
  • Sociolotron offers choice
  • Some choose to be good, others to be evil
  • The fact that the choice is real makes the game more compelling
strip poker and jigsaw puzzles
Strip Poker and Jigsaw Puzzles
  • MMORPGs are, by nature, more suitable for adults interested in games than kids
  • "When you say 'adult game' everybody thinks of strip poker or jigsaw puzzles." -- Patric Lagny
when given a chance
When given a chance...
  • When given a chance, many people will behave well
  • Game worlds create cultures, economies, class systems, and all of the other social systems we see in real life
  • In-game experiences are compelling and can be emotionally and spiritually rewarding
  • MMORPGs continue to grow and develop in new and interesting ways