Some people think of MMORPGs as elaborate make-believe fantasies that are not only pointless but perhaps of danger to teenagers who may lose hold of their real identities. This critique is ironic in that everyone shifts between multiple roles in real life - father, son, leader, follower, teacher, student. In fact, maturity is about the accumulation and balance of roles, and more importantly, understanding life from different perspectives.

Others point out that MMORPGs in the end are just games and not worthy of our attention. This view is also ironic in that the status of a game is culturally constructed. Chess and golf are seen as almost noble pursuits, but in the end they too are games. Also, by labeling MMORPGs as games, we fail to understand them as sites of complex work and collaboration. In fact, MMORPGs are more like work than play.

Another line of critique focuses on the relationships that form in these environments. Some argue that virtual “relationships” are inherently meaningless. This view fails to take into account that the people behind the avatars are real people. More importantly, we all wear masks in real life. It is naive to assume that we get to know a person intimately merely because we can interact with them face to face. After all, the “bad” people in online worlds live in the real world. And finally, most players actually play with someone they know in real life on a regular basis. In other words, these online environments can be seen as places where existing RL ties are being strengthened.

And finally, some would argue that these games are pointless because nothing that is achieved in these environments has any real life meaning or value. The eBay transactions show that achievements in MMORPGs actually do have real life value. More importantly, when MMORPGs are understood as complex frameworks of rules and mechanisms, it becomes hard to differentiate them from other complex frameworks in real life - such as getting a paper accepted at an academic journal. The question then becomes - How much of life is also just a game?


The Daedalus Gateway - The Psychology of MMORPGs

MMORPG psychology, the psychology of MMORPGs, understanding MMORPGs, MMORPG addiction, MMORPG research, an introduction to MMORPGs, a primer to MMORPGs, MMORPG primer, issues in MMORPGs, gender-bending in MMORPGs, genderbending in MMORPG, avatar, character creation in MMORPGs, World of Warcraft, Everquesr, Ragnarok Online, Lineage, Relationships in MMORPGs, MMORPG relationships, the Daedalus Project, the Daedalus gateway, MMORPG research, Research in MMORPGs, massively multiplayer online role-playing games, survey research, MMORPG data, MMORPG surveys, Nick Yee, Nicholas Yee, MMORPG information, MMORPG usage, cyberspace psychology, MMORPG avatars, psychology of avatars, male female avatars, social aspects of MMORPGs, MMORPG statistics
L10 Web Stats Reporter 3.15 LevelTen Hit Counter - Free PHP Web Counters
LevelTen Website Design & Web Development Firm - Dallas, Houston, Austin, Texas