The Dangers of Massively MultiPlayer Online Role-Playing Games

JL writes: “My seventeen year old son plays the online game Runescape.  He plays it because I got rid of the PS3.  He has a good friend that plays Runescape and they chat a lot while playing.  I have a bad feeling about the game.  What do you think?”

I think your instincts are right on, JL.

RuneScape, which has been around for more than a decade, is just another form of what have come to be known as massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) which involve online video games in which hundreds of thousands of players interact with one another within a virtual gaming world that has its own rules, culture, etc. Besides the sorcery-laden themes of most of these games, youngsters are also endangered by the people they interact with during play. It is highly advisable that children be told not to give out personal information to their gaming friends, no matter how well they think they know them.

As for RuneScape in particular, the game was created by Jagex Games Studio and released in 2001. Just this year, it reached 200 million accounts, making it the world’s largest free MMORPG in the world. The game itself is based on a medieval fantasy world known as Gielinor through which players travel either on foot, via magic spells or charter ships. Each type of travel is met with the usual collection of monsters and other challenges for players.

These games can lead to serious problems in individuals  and are associated with some of the most notorious killers of our time, such as James Holmes who killed 12 people in Aurora, Colorado this year; and Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who went on a shooting rampage last year that left 77 people dead.

This is an extensive list of MMORPG games that can help parents learn more about individual games.




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