MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) have been around for a really long time. Ever since advent of powerful servers that are able to stay up and running for weeks, if not months, and the arrival of affordable broadband internet to homes all across the world, MMORPG activity has skyrocketed. They suck gamers into virtual worlds where you can kill monsters, level up, take on side-quests and interact with everyone else logged into the virtual world.
The experience is quite satisfying I must say. I used to play an MMORPG called Ragnarok, which is defined as "a time prophosied when the world shall be ripped apart and the gods shall die". Of course, the game had NOTHING to do with the end of the world. In fact, mostly all MMORPGs don't have a concrete story to them. They are meant to to be played.. well, forever, if that were possible, bringing you, the gamer, a unique experience, each time you played it.
Big name MMORPGs like EverQuest, Lineage, Final Fantasy XI, etc. require massive servers that keep the virtual world running and that that isn't cheap... most MMORPG developers require you to pay a monthly fee to play on the server. After the open (and thus, free) beta for Ragnarok ended, it started costing money to play). Being the poor jobless boy that I am, I minimized my expenses by playing on cracked servers. Alternatives like the Xeno and Trinity servers for Ragnarok hosted by people who had a really fast computer and were able to spare some of their bandwidth. Being the free servers that they were, the instability of the administation was always an issue, unlike if you paid for the real thing. What that simply meant was that: I spent hours and hours of my life on now non-existent characterS that eventually felt the wrath of the "rm -rf" command. OK whatever, it's the experience that matters.
I just thought I'd share some of my thoughts on MMORPGs after seeing WoW available for download from a BT site along with it's ability for alternative servers and after watching a funny video (open link in windows media player), made by the editors and writers, people who work at GameSpot.com. As like all others who (are playing / have played) World of Warcraft, they basically say: "we no longer have control of our lives because of WoW..." Good think I'm not hooked... anymore.