Online Circus

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The fascinating stories behind MMORPG

I find Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games fascinating.

Playing together with thousand of others, forming friendships and embarking on epic quests sounds like some tasteless commercial until you first try it and find it's quite real. Personally, I've done my acquaintances through DikuMUD back in 1992 and it was two months before I raised my head from the terminal again...

Gaining more and more popularity along the way, some MMORPG now boast hundreds of thousands of online members, a phenomenon that sparks many interesting "behind the scenes" stories. Here are some of these stories I found along the way -
  1. Man pays $100,000 for virtual resort - After all, the virtual island he bought just a year earlier for $26,500 more than paid for itself.
  2. Digital plague hits online game World of Warcraft - the plague was caused by a curse given to characters that battle a certain demon. The curse can pass to nearby characters. The game developers, however, failed to limit the area where the curse operates. The disease would not have spread without the efforts of the online equivalent to terrorists, that teleported their cursed characters to inhabited areas and spread the disease to the general online population.
  3. Online gamer gets life for stabbing - A Shanghai online game player who stabbed a competitor to death for selling his virtual sword has been given a suspended death sentence.
  4. Virtual Sweatshops - Chinese "virtual sweatshops" where people are employed to play online games and collect virtual items for their employers who then sell them for real money.



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