Monday, July 9, 2007

Making Fun of MMORPG

Two of my favorite interests are media and technology. This blog post discusses two very funny convergences of these two topics that I ran across recently.

The technology being parodied is the MMORPG or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. The media that is doing the parody are The Simpson's and an entry on YouTube.

If you do not already know about The Simpson's and you are reading this blog entry, then you are either not a member of the human race or today is the first day out of your twenty year old coma. I won't even try to describe this TV cartoon show to you. The episode to watch is episode 17 from the 18th season, entitled Marge Gamer. After being publicly embarrassed by not having an email address, Marge decides to explore this Internet thing and ends up subscribing to a parody of Ever Quest. Once again, Groening does an excellent job being on target with the subject of his good natured ridicule.

It is possible to be alive in the age of the Internet and not know about You Tube but don't admit that or you might be branded as a Luddite. You Tube is a social networking site whose media is video. Some former PayPal employees started this puppy and was able to sell it to Google about a year and a half later. If you don't know about You Tube, then you don't have young children or you don't talk to them. You Tube is very popular amongst the younger demographic.

The video that I ran across on You Tube is a great parody of Second Life but only if you have ever been on Second Life. Otherwise, you won't understand it at all. It could be argued that Second Life is not a MMORPG. It is massive. It is multi-player. It is online. The only role that you are playing is whatever you decide the persona of your avatar is. Is it a game? Well, it is a game in the infinite sense but not in the finite sense. It could also be branded as a social networking site with a 3D virtual world interface.

What are Finite and Infinite Games? To answer that, you should read James Carse's book of the same name. I have also blogged about this elsewhere.