INC- Online Gaming

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(INC stands for ‘Incoming’ in MMORPG Lingo)

In today’s modern and fast paced world, people can play games from almost any remote location and connect with their friends or players at a similar level via the internet. In the textbook Living in the Information Age, Frances Cairncross was accurate in his predicted trend of increased mobility. He stated, “every form of communication will be available for mobile or remote use” and “the distinctions between fixed and mobile receiving equipment will blur”. Similarly, the three Media Now authors wrote about the online game genre and its technological impact. Online games are a distinct form of entertainment, because of their “addictive” quality and extreme interactivity.

Almost everywhere one looks you can observe both adults and children playing on their tablets and smartphones a variety of fascinating games from Sudoku and Scramble to Gold Nuggets and Bored School. According to the Apple application store, there are an overwhelming 1,108 available online games[1]. The Google Play for Android phones had over ten pages of online games ready to download both free or with a small fee[2]. Clearly “typical” mobile online games are growing, but let’s explore the influence and impact of the most popular gaming category Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs).

According to Media Now, MMORPG games are extremely popular and one of them “World of Warcraft” has over 10 million players worldwide with tens of thousands of gamers playing at one time. These games typically have a sorcery or magic theme and elegantly combine crime and science fiction elements. It was especially interesting reading about this specific genre with players who adopt these intricate virtual environments, because I am not familiar with these games nor am I close with anyone who does. The MMORPG.com site boasts about its 2,294,640 members, 2,088 guests and 5,468,092 posts. It is obvious that these games have a very strong and dedicated fan base, one that contributes to the site through forums, blogs and videos. The site also displays an extensive list of MMORPG games and categorizes them as primarily Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Real Life. After browsing through a couple of the blogs posted on the website, I found an interesting article by a woman who believes the media, government and individuals should stop blaming inanimate objects as rationalization for why catastrophes (like mass shootings) happen instead of blaming more tangible root causes like mental state, bad parenting and poor education. Even more captivating were member’s responses like Dauzqual’s, “I’ve played the CoD series since Call of Duty 2 and I would never hurt anyone. People are either mental or too wrapped up in what society thinks”[3].  There were too many replies to post the ongoing debate, but most members I read posted that these games at MOST play a minimal role in a violent act. I learned a lot about this gaming world and can zealously confirm that increased mobility has been a real game changer for online gaming, pun intended. Word Count: 493

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