Friday, 17 August 2007

MMORPGs: More than a mirror

In a world of make-believe, everyone can be a star in their own right. When exists a world where people can willingly shape their own fates, there individuals shall be seeking their own patch under the sun.

An exhillirating four-year journey, Philippine Ragnarok Online had been. From it's humble beginnings at the time that it relied on the cutesy factor and the chance to TRULY have choices, the game had progressed into a legend that forever etched a mark upon the face of the country's gaming community. Now Ragnarok Online, or RO, had gone even further in providing gamers a haven where they can truly co-exist with the fantasies of an alternate world and realities of life.

Such is the experience that RO and other Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) provide - a virtual existence that is entwined with real life drama, humor, and fun.

The moment players log on to their favorite MMORPGs, they assume a new persona - whether it be a wielder of mystic arcana, a full-support party-saver, or a materialistic money-maker ekking out a fortune - and they leave behind the unnecessary clutter of real life that prevents them from becoming the legends they desire to be. Nonetheless, the new persona is still but an extension, a deeply-longing portion of an individual that seeks to break free from the binding chains of the physically mundane. Whoever they become in the MMORPG's fantastic realm is yet the person trapped within them, living in a place reflective of the real world.MMORPGs have evolved, through the addition of each players' idiosyncracies, into a place that is more than a mirror of the real world...

Nonetheless, the reality in which they consciously immerse themselves is a totally new world in itself. Virtual as any a game could be, MMORPGs have evolved, through the addition of each players' idiosyncracies, into a place that is more than a mirror of the real world.

Like many of the several worlds of MMORPGs, PRO's Rune-Midgard is no longer just a reflection of the Philippine community. As a matter of fact, in a completely turn-around fashion, Rune-Midgard had effected great changes into the Filipino society.

How many booming computer shops owe their success to MMORPGs? How many searching soulmates found their completion online? And how many among the Filipinos can supress the desire to sing along to Kamikazee's "Chicksilog" ?

The list goes on and on. So, are online games and MMORPGs mirrors of the real world?

Yes and no.

Yes, because they showcase the realities that reality cannot truly realize. And no, because the virtuality had ceased being just a mirror - it is a real world in its own right.

Kudos to Level Up! Games for introducing that world to us. For more direct facts about LU!'s games, please visit the blog of GM Tristan. Various articles are in there about RO and other games (there are contests there, too). Oh, before I forget, this post is an entry to one of GM T's contests, the Group Writing Project. More posts about the contest in the next 6 weeks (please vote for me owkay?) :P

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