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The Growing Popularity Of Role Playing Games

2157 words - 9 pages

The Growing Popularity of Role-playing Games

Role-playing games are becoming increasingly popular in this age due the assistance of the Internet. In these types of game a person can assume a character and give this character a personality, physical features and “live” through them. All though in past years “pen and paper” types have dominated the rpg world, now MUDs are making it possible to role-play along with thousands of others A MUD is a network-accessible, multi-participant virtual reality that is primarily text-based. (Bruckman, 1992). Although the term “virtual reality” often refers to a computer-simulated environment that contains varying degrees of audio/visual interface, this form of virtual reality is mainly text-based. Elizabeth Reid further explains by saying:
Using a MUD does not require the paraphernalia commonly associated with virtual reality. There is no special hardware to sense the position and orientation of the user’s real-world body, and no special clothes allowing users to see the virtual world through goggles and though through “data gloves”…Instead of using sophisticated tools to see, touch and hear the virtual environment, users of MUD systems are presented with textual descriptions of virtual locations. Technically, a MUD software program consists of a database of “rooms”, “exits” and other objects. The program accepts connections from users on a computer network, and provides each user with access to that database…Within each system users can interact with each other and with the virtual environment which the MUD presents to them (Reid, 1994).

In 1978, Roy Trubshaw at the Universe of Essex in England created a program he called a “multi-user Dungeon” (Reid, 1994). This game was loosely based on an adventure game known as Dungeons and Dragons. Players of D&D compete with each other for points by going on quests and adventures wherein they find treasure or slay monsters.
Each player begins with equal status but as the game progresses and they increase their points, levels and special powers are gained, until they reach the desired goal of becoming a wizard who contains all the special powers and other privileges of this rank. In between the “newbies” (newer members who were just beginning to play their characters) and Wizards is an entire social hierarchy which gave the game a new dimension.

From this adventure-type game came the MUD’s which provided a much large range of individuals who could participate over Internet. The multiple users on a MUD can communicate with each other in real time (Curtis, 1993). These games became so popular that now hundreds of these games now roam the Internet and the acronym has come to mean Multi-User Domain and Multi-User Dimension as well as the afored mentioned. To many, this game became a way of recreation, a hobby if you will. They were able to create characters of any social class, race, or even species and develop them into a powerful and...

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