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MMORPGs: MUD to WoW Shawn Rider March 7, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "MMORPGs: MUD to WoW Shawn Rider March 7, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 MMORPGs: MUD to WoW Shawn Rider March 7, 2006





6 Pen-and-paper game supplies



9 Required to play MMORPGs (Plus a monthly subscription fee.)

10 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



13 Neverwinter Nights First graphical MMORPG Offered for subscription on America OnLine (AOL) Peaked at 500K users in 1997 Sequel released in 2002


15 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


17 Everquest 1999 First major mainstream MMORPG Released/developed by Sony Online Entertainment Initiated a major flood of mainstream releases that continues









26 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


28 Expanding Online Worlds

29 Comparison of game popularity


31 Genre diversity in MMOGs

32 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

33 Current game world to real world conversion rates: 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

34 Second Life 2002 Not exactly a game In-game tools for content creation Users retain intellectual property rights Embraces trade of game goods

35 Tringo (2005) Developed within Second Life Published by Crave Entertainment for Game Boy Advance Like Tetris meets Bingo



38 World of Warcraft Corrupted Blood Plague

39 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



42 "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."


44 "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!"



47 I just love to kick ass on 25 year olds again.

48 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

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

50 t 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."


52 In Sociolotron, the player must make a real decision about whether to do good or evil.

53 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

54 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

55 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

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