The last game that I will introduce in this blog post project about video game addiction is World of Warcraft (WoW). WoW was created by Blizzard Entertainment in 2004 and is one of the highest grossing video games of all time. It has grossed between 7 and 10 billion US dollars in sales and belongs to a genre of video games called massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). These types of games are characterized by the massive amount of simultaneous players that can interact with each other in the virtual game world. Often in these types of role playing games, the player creates their own character or characters and uses this character to explore their virtual world.
WoW is a little unique when compared to the previous games that I introduced because it is neither free to play or a one time purchase. Instead WoW runs a monthly subscription service for 14.99 US. This makes WoW one of main players of gaming industry as a whole with over 10 million subscribers to WoW alone as of October 2014 (Reilly 2014).
In WoW players are endowed with the ability to customize their virtual player to suit different races, looks and behavior, and skill types. For example players can choose professions such as blacksmithing, cooking, and fishing. These skills if chosen by the player can have various in game benefits. Players can also equip their characters with different in game equipment to effect the skills of their character.
A core component of gameplay is the completion of quests or missions. Through tasks given by non playable characters (NPC) designed in the game, players can advance the story and uncover new parts of the virtual world. The completion of quests can often entail item retrieval, killing of particular units, and or travel to certain locations. Difficult quests are commonly completed with the help of other players who form a team.
The below video has become an infamous internet meme but gives a good idea of what an MMORPG is and aswell as highlighting the challenges of team based questing.
Reilly, Luke (2014). “World of Warcraft Subscriptions Back Over 10 Million”. IGN. Retrieved 2015/04/02.