The Basics of MMOG Technology

a man using a laptop sitting on a couch

What Are MMOGs?

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMOGs or MMORPGs) are a huge part of the gaming business and technological culture. These games are set in a virtual world where you use an avatar to interact with other people online. The most popular MMOGs are Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and Sony Online Entertainment’s EverQuest II.

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When Did They Come About?

You may be surprised to learn that the first MMOGs came about in the 1980s and were called “Multi-User Dungeons” (MUDs). These were actually text-based role-playing games where lines of text described the world and the characters. Obviously there’s a lot more features in today’s 3D MMOGs!

woman on a white laptop smiling

The First MMOG

The first commercial MMOG was created in 1985 by computer designers John Taylor and Kelton Flinn. They released their game Island of Kesmai on an online service called CompuServe, where you could play for $12 an hour. But “massive multiplayer” was a loose term then since the service only supported up to 100 players!

a woman on a silver laptop smiling

Chat Plus Graphics

LucasArts was one of the first companies to combine chat capabilities with avatars/graphical environments in Club Caribe. It’s a very basic game, but, like Island of Kesmai, it helped establish MMOGs. Club Caribe also had a limited number of users who could play. These users had to be registered with Quantum Link (now America Online).

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