ponedjeljak, 10. prosinca 2012.

3 Philosophical concepts about MMO RP gaming


First of all, for all of you who still dont know what MMO RPG is, simply put: those are massively multiplayer online role playing games. In other words, if you’ve ever heard of  World of Warcraft, you now have the idea what MMORPG is, because WoW is probably the most popular MMORPG in the world.
Now, following what i wrote in my last post, today i’ve deceided to write a bit about which philosophical concepts could be found in the world of MMO gaming. I only played three MMO games: first was Travian (which isnt RPG), then i played Gods War and finally there was Perfect World. Online gamers would probably say that those games aren’t the best of what you can get in MMO world, but for some reason i found them amusing and i spent a plenty of time on those games, mastered some of needed skills and just had a fun time playing them.
This time, i would like just to name and explain a bit for me most important concepts in all three games and in whole MMO idea, ascribing them to mentioned games in general.
The concepts are:
1. Friendship.
Basic idea of MMO is to play a game with other people in real time.  Whatever might be your reason to play MMO, this is a great place to meet new, different, friendly, interesting people. Of course, one can argue that people you’ve never seen or met in real life can’t be your friends, but i would ask them: how can we call a person who isnt your relative but you talk to them every day for a few hours and tell them everything about your life, your problems, your dreams, your activities and to whom you can trust with everything you say, who is there to console you, cheer you up, advise you whenever you need them and to whom you mean the same? If you ask online gamers, that is what they would call a friend.
2. Escapism.
This concept most probably connects with psychological aspects of life, but i would take it also philosophically, because it falls under not so deep psychological problems. Most of the gamers play MMO games for fun or leisure. Some philosophers would say that any form of art has the same purpose, either to entertain us or to distract us from everyday problems. Also, other people say that gaming is a form of escaping from reality (everyday problems)  into a better world where gamers are in control of everything, a world where they have second life, right to make mistakes and where making mistakes isnt really hurtfull or fatal to them or to other people. Once, i met elderly lady in game, she said she was sick, in a wheelchair for last few years, she couldnt do much, so she tried MMO and she liked it – in game she could walk, run, fly, meet others without any prejudices, etc. Although escapism isn’t the solution to our problems, in this sense it surely helps some people to better cope with them.
3. Ideology.
As in most of MMO games, Travian, Gods War and Perfect World have strong concept of ideology. In every game you have to choose sides, tribes, races, kingdoms, guilds. Every side you choose, tells you something about yourself, whether you are offensive/defensive person, whether you fight for good or evil, whether you like to help others or you like others to help you, and so on. Once you’ve chosen your side, you get a chance to be with people who are more like you, which can create a feeling of unity. After that, choosing your guild is the most important thing, for it becomes your new family. Whole range of our civilisation system is present within a game, and gamers act inside of it just as if they were in real world.
Apart from these three basic concepts, we could discuss many more things present in games which have any connection with philosophy. Feel free to write some of your own in comment section.
Zoran Kojcic

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