The digital online worlds of MMORPG have pretty much always been physically limitless. Not bounded by a physical arenas, these worlds expand out practically forever. Physically these virtual worlds may indeed be limitless; demographically not so much. The primary persona in MMORPG gaming has historically been younger generations, kids young adults and twenty-somethings. Of course there are many adult gamers out there, especially as the younger gaming generations continue to grow up, but mass majority of these gamers are certainly the younger members of our population. This is also a natural fit for the mass majority of games out there, which are focused on gaming itself.
That’s not to say that MMORPG is only about gaming or just about competing with random strangers. These multiplayer experiences have always had strong elements of communion, fellowship and social bonding. Many new friendships have been formed, by players all across the globe. It can get quite a bit deeper as well, like the EverQuest II players who rallied in support of a sick child. Gaming bonds certainly run deep.
But the games themselves have been primarily about, well games. However, the potential of the immersive online virtual worlds encompassing these games has always been more than just to play a game. Even in earlier times with much lower res technology, the notion of video game being something more than simply a game began to emerge. One of the earliest examples is Line Rider, which was explicitly created to be a digital “toy”, as opposed to a game. Line Rider rode a huge viral wave of popularity, as one of the first open sandbox creative type video games. Players (or should we say users?) loved the unlimited open environment and freedom of expression to build anything they could imagine. As technology improved and 3D worlds with rich graphics became standard for video games, other titles also begin to mix in the notion of creative sandbox environments expanding upon a pure gaming experience. Grand Theft Auto series is a famous example of another wildly popular open sandbox environment type game. Then along came Minecraft, and raised the bar for what creative experience in gaming could be. Hugely popular, the player ability to create content in the game itself created an implicit viral nature for Minecraft to vault itself to the top of gaming popularity charts.
Recent events have inspired both software companies and online players to explore this non-gaming potential online virtual worlds. Being able to collaborate remotely is the norm not the exception these days. And freedom to share information without censorship is a cherished experience in many political climates around the globe.
Kosmi has launched a massively multi-user online virtual room where anyone can jump in and start hanging out with friends or strangers. Just like online gaming, it’s easy for anyone to join in, no special invites accounts or memberships are required to jump into this world. Kosmi is all about collaboration and enjoying what used to be primarily physical get together based activities together in the online virtual space. Just like MMORPG’s virtualized role playing games into limitless online worlds, Kosmi has virtualized watching movies and playing poker into a limitless virtual room.
Another example, launched to foster the freedom of information access for everyone, is The Uncensored Library developed by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Built up with over 12.5 million Minecraft bricks, this library has tombes of information from books and magazine collected worldwide. But not all of the ideas espoused by these books are welcome in all political regimes throughout the world. The RSF uniquely chose Minecraft specifically due to its open nature, the gaming worlds are not easily censored by internet “world police” of these certain political regimes. This initiative has enabled massive information access to massive segments of the global population. It is also inspiring to the world on the limitless potential for online virtual worlds such as Minecraft.
This looks to be the future of online virtual worlds, which seems only natural. If anything it’s a surprise that these virtual experiences did not emerge sooner. Global collaboration fostering exponential creativity enabled by truly freely available knowledge. And we here at MX Fusion are super excited about the growing collaboration for freedom of expression in digital media! We always advocate for digital creativity in new and unexpected ways, emergent art forms are what we are all about.
Now let’s enjoy a Fusion for Lynyrd Skynyrd | Free Bird: