Essay about The Effects of Internet Role Playing Games on Society

1033 Words 5 Pages
Advances in technology on the internet are making it a continually more ‘real’ experience for its users. To what extent are the places, relationships, communities and identities represented on the internet real.

The increasing speed and efficiency with which humans can communicate within the online world has had an enormous effect on our culture. Furthermore the increasing reality in which Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing games (MMORPGs) represent human life online is affecting the way that humans interact with one another. The more advanced these games become the more emotionally, socially and economically involved in them people become. The relationships which develop between cyberspace users are creating an intricate web of
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The Secondlife environment is based on the relationships and the communities which reside it, which brings a sense of meaning to Secondlife as a place.

Despite the lack of ‘physical reality’ these communities do in fact operate in a similar fashion to a normal community. The emergence of relationships online has been evident since the establishment of virtual communities. Games such as Secondlife, World of Warcraft, Everquest and Runescape have begun to develop online economies which transfer into the real world. Although users are all part of the Secondlife community many class distinctions and sub communities exist. “Taggart Transdimensional” is a virtual company whose role it is to generate online currency which is exchanged for real world money. The creation of this virtual economy has created class distinctions between the rich or poor as those without money cannot access nightclubs, shopping centres and places.

The question as to what defines someone’s online identity is one which has been debated within the public forum extensively. Although some constants exist between ones actual and online identity, an online identity can potentially be completely artificial. A user designs everything about their avatar to the extent where it can be as different or close to their physical identity as they like. An avatar can be a false identity to hide behind allowing users to be as obnoxious and annoying as they want to be. A sense of

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