Massively multi-player online games
COMPUTER GAMING is big business. Though industry giants such as Microsoft and Sony are battling it out for supremacy in the console gaming market in online gaming, there’s an entirely different battle being waged. Throughout the Internet, millions of people are playing what are known as massively multi-player online games (MMOs). The concept behind such games is it’s possible for thousands of people to play together in the same environment. While there are many different genres of game under the MMO banner, the most popular are MMO role-playing games (MMORPG), such as World of Warcraft, EVE Online or Everquest.
Though people can either play against the game – as if they were the only person involved – the intention is to create a social environment where people work together to complete tasks in the game (commonly called “quests”). Those interactions could be casual, based on an immediate need, but for more complex tasks players tend to band together into larger teams (called clans, guilds, corporations or many other names, depending on the game). Such teams could be a few friends or thousands of members, depending on what the needs of the clan are.
Some games require players to pay a monthly fee, while others simply require that people buy the game. Currently, the most popular game is World of Warcraft, which has between 10m and 11m subscribers paying to play on a monthly basis.