David Wong from PointlessWasteOfTime.com takes a rather twisted look at what these Massive Multi-player Online RPG's have in store for us in the future.
"If you don't understand the gravitational pull of an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), I'm going to enlighten you with just a dozen words: you get to pick what you look like and what your talents are.
That's the real beauty of it. The first thing you do in the MMORPG World of Warcraft is design your own body and decide what your strengths will be. You pick your race. What could be more seductive than that, the ability to turn in all of the cards you were dealt at birth and draw new ones from a face-up deck? If you have friends who've gotten sucked into the WoW black hole and you don't understand why they never talk to you any more, this is it."
He goes on to run through 10 things that these virtual worlds, in conjunction with increased technology bringing us greater agency and immersion, will offer us.
"But it's not just the physical image that changes. In that world, I am a dragon slayer. There, my reptutation and history are just as awe-inspiring as my look. Even now, much of the satisfaction for WoW gamers is in the very real sense of accomplishment they get, a person glowing with a burst of golden light when they gain a level in experience and strength. How can the real world compete with that? Wouldn't those long Calculus lectures have been easier to sit through if, every time you learned something important, gold light shot out from your body?"
Some of the stuff, like the idea of people living in their virtual world almost 24 hours a day, living it large in-game while their meat body rots in a squalid dump, is quite likely to hapen. But then again, we already get that with drugs, with television and even with current games. People will always be dissatisfied with elements of the real world, but to imagine that we'll all dismiss reality for the pleasures of a virtual world is a little far fetched.
Then again, perhaps the real worlders will become a minority. I doubt it though.
Interesting times ahead.
A World of Warcraft World