RPG Virtual Community Term Paper

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RPG Virtual Community

Community and its Variations

In today's world, there are already different types of communities - which, unlike before, are purely physical type of communities. Now, there are even online communities that exist in the cyber world. These types of communities have neither boundaries nor limits. These are the type of communities that may even accept members which are not personally known by the initiators or by the other members. These communities, which do not have boundaries, are now called as the community websites.

There are a number of researches which prove that even through the most basic and simplest community website, people are able to chat, organize events, share opinions on different issues presented, share and view photographs, make announcements and even meet new friends (Adamic, et.al., 2003). Moreover, e-groups, e-messaging, MIRcs are just few of the famous community websites that has been established and being patronized by a lot of people across all nations.

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A lot of cyber relationships started with this community websites. Even job opportunities, job applications and/or job hunting are now presented in numerous community websites. Schools and various other institutions are giving assignments and research works using community websites in the pursuit of allowing the learners to familiarize themselves with theses websites. This process eliminates tedious processes on information gathering specially on survey types, because small and expensive mails, phone calls and likes were avoided (Adamic, et.al., 2003).

The Virtual Community and RPGs

Term Paper on RPG Virtual Community Assignment

With the advent of virtual communities, another new venture was established - this is the combination of virtual community and the role playing games (RPGs). Virtual communities are communities that exist online or through the cyber space. Internet connections plus the computer are two of the must important and indispensable components of virtual community. People get to "see," talk and so all other forms of communication in the virtual world (Adamic, et.al., 2003).

Because of virtual community, people are able to realize that communities can really exist and grow even without the physical interaction with other people. In the same manner, because of the virtual community, people also realize that they can reach and initiate instant relationships with many other members even if they are thousands of miles away from each other. Communicating even to the most far flung places becomes easier. Getting access to information becomes more efficient. Needless to say, navigating around the world is done in just one click of a finger, all because of the availability of the virtual community.

Meanwhile, the existence of online role playing games (RPGs) also resulted to the creation of a virtual community which is for online gamers.

MMORPG stands for massively-multiplayer online role-playing game. As the name implies, this is a form of role-playing game which is done online or through the computer and an Internet connection. A large number of players from various areas play and interact with each other through their so-called 'virtual world'. Each of the players is performing the role of a fictional character (Bartle 2003).

Most MMORPG nowadays are in the form of 'level-up' games wherein the players could upgrade or enhance their virtual skills by reaching a certain level or conquering a certain challenge. One best example of a role-playing game, which has been created early on 2000 yet has still been widely use nowadays is the War Craft. On this game, there could be a number of players who can play, all of which can choose their own "appearance" and type of special weapons and skills. It should be noted that all of this is done in the computer, which is connected online to other networks of computers. The aim of the game is to "kill" or overpower the opposing teams.

A similar RPG that followed War Craft is called Counter Strike. On this specific game, there are two opposing teams which will act as the Terrorist or the Counter-Terrorist. As the name implies, the Terrorist's goal is to plant the bomb, take care of the hostages and kill all the Counter-Terrorists. The Counter-Terrorists, of course, is aimed at doing the exact opposite. They are to protect the terrorists from planting the bomb or diffuse it if it has been planted, save the hostages and kill all the Terorrists. Each player will have a tally of scores of how many of the opponents is he able to kill. At the same time, each team is counting for the number of winnings they have made vs. The total number of rounds of each game.

Other RPGs that became famous or are starting to be famous in other countries are the Red Alert series and Diablo. These games, like the first two examples, are all about killings and overpowering the opponents through brutal means. The presence of guns, ammos, life vests, bombs and other armaments are very common on these games.

However, not all RPGs are like the above examples. There are also some which are not violence-related, like the RPG called "Sims." Sims is played in a way like reliving a real human being. The person playing can choose to be a man, a woman or a child. A house can be built according to the player's preference. The Sims character can choose to work on different types of jobs. It can be dressed up, played on, swum around, set to meet other people, allowed to get married, sent to vacations and so many more. Anything that a real human being can do can also be done in the Sims.

What is good in Sims is the fact that no violence is taught to any player. It even teaches the player on how to manage the finances, do household duties and even on how to successfully establish relationship with neighbors. Sense of responsibility over the work and the studies is also enhanced. With Sims, the child and even mature individuals can learn the real values of life, if only played properly.

The Addictive Components of Virtual Community and RPGs

It has been noted that majority of the populations most countries, especially those from the First World Countries have access to the computers and the Internet (Adamic, et.al., 2003). Because of this, every children, and even the teenagers and adults are really prone to playing RPGs.

In RPGs, there is no gender or age issue. Anybody and everybody can play the game as long as you know how to. This is one of the very reasons why there are more and more people are becoming so hooked up with this. Teenagers, adults and even some youngsters do get to play MMORPG at most of their free times, with or without their parents' consent.

Playing MMORPG may be providing positive effects to the players themselves. They get to enhance their strategic skills. They not only learn how to play the game, but they also learn how to level up or upgrade themselves (or the characters they are playing). They became aware and/or be familiar with most things which are normally shown only to some specialized forces (like the military). With the types of games most players now play, it can be easily inferred that players are indeed learning the art of war.

Aside from the war-related benefits, players also benefit from the virtual communities and RPGs because they are able to interact with more people around the world. The players are able to widen their imagination. They are able to experience, even just through virtual means, how to live in a certain environment or area.

However, MMORPG is also known for its negative effects to the players, particularly with reference to the idea of neglect. First of the form of neglect is the neglect of family, with which the players of MMORPG tends to do. Interaction among family members is lessened because the players are all so hooked up with their own 'virtual world'. They tend to lock themselves inside their rooms, play with their own computer and forget that they have families waiting outside or are hungry for their attention. Even on dinner times, on weekends and on other times, the players' tendency is to go online, start playing so as to level up the character they are playing with. They tend to forget everything when they started to enter their own 'virtual world.'

Another form of neglect that most players of MMROPG usually have is the neglect of their friends. MMORPG has its own world and more people are playing inside the said created world. But the real friends, the actual friends whom the players have known from schools, from the community or since childhood are most often not part of that created 'virtual world'. With this, the friends are being neglected once the player locked himself in his 'virtual world.

Likewise, the player could not establish real friendship while playing with the MMORPG because the players there are also playing with their own fictional characters. Their goal is just to level up their game and not to establish friendship.

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