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Why Online RPG Games are so Addictive?

Updated on February 15, 2011
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Popmundo, Zwinky, Sims, Renaissance Kingdom... all examples of role playing games (RPG). People spend hours and hours playing games such as Petville, Frontierville, Farmville and Cafe World on Facebook. Those are also examples of role playing games. In this day and age, people are becoming more addicted to these kind of games than to action and adventure videogames.

In RPG, the players 'become' their characters in a fictional setting. Many role playing games are fantasy, others are realistic. There are written role-playing games but in this hub, a s a request of my good friend LizzyBoo , I will be talking strictly about online RPG.

But what makes these games so addictive? It's quite simple really - I've narrowed it down to 2 reasons (yes, this is a short Hub).

1) They are entertaining!

Obviously these games are fun. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many people so into it. For those who prefer action games, role playing games may seem boring but for some reason, these games can quickly go from boring to ridiculously entertaining. This is just my opinion of course and it depends entirely on your definition of fun.

When I was younger, I loved action videogames - although they frustrated me to frightful levels of violence. I began playing pokémon when I was about 8 years old and from that point, I was stuck on role-playing games. For those who have played pokémon, they may not have realised that it is a role-playing game but it is. 

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2) They are an escape from reality

We can deny it until our faces turn blue, but RPGs are ways to escape reality. Think about it: you are creating a whole new virtual world - a dream world almost... You can be having the hardest time of your life in reality, but in the game, you can be a billionaire with different houses in different countries, several expensive cars, a family and a job where you don't have to do anything.

I think that is the most addictive aspect of the game. You can 'live' the life in the game that you can't live in the real world. It's almost therapeutic. When my friend and I are chatting and either of us aren't in the mood to talk about real life, we simply talk about our characters. That is when I realised that RPG is an escape mechanism. It is quite an interesting realisation, don't you think?

Role-playing games enable you to be someone you are not. In role-play, you can be who you always wanted to be or you can express your 'alter-ego.' Maybe you are a good girl who plays it safe and you decide to be a little adventurous and risky in the game world. You want to live in Europe? Maybe RPG will allow you to.

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RPG example: "Popmundo"

Currently, I am playing a game called Popmundo - a game that LizzyBoo introduced me to. My first impression was that the game was boring but that quickly changed. The game is wonderful. You assume a character, chose where you will live and you start living your life. In the game, you can form relationships - friendships and romances. You can get married and have children, keep up a job and learn skills to get ahead professionally or for personal reasons.

Popmundo is the best example I have of an addictive RPG; mainly because I am terribly addicted to it.

Popmundo allows me to do things I only WISH I can do in real life. I live in London but I have a house in Amsterdam where my sister lives and currently I am vacationing in Rio de Janiero where my sister and I have a beach house. It's an awesome way of living, don't you think? I must mention that I make over 6000 US$ a week for doing absolutely nothing! Wow! Oh and by the way, I'm 16 years old in the game right now.

This game is free but you can become a VIP by paying a fee. With a VIP membership there is a lot more you can do and that is the way the website keeps ads off the game page. Of course, without a VIP membership you can still enjoy the game.

It is really a lot of fun. To join go to: www.popmundo.com. Oh and if you join, look me up: my character's name is Rosa Rosewell-Barthel.

The main page displaying the character's blog, attributes, health and mood
The main page displaying the character's blog, attributes, health and mood | Source

So, to sum things up, online role-paying games are addictive because they're entertaining and an escape from reality. Face it, we all need to escape reality sometimes! :)

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    • danatheteacher profile image

      Dana Rock 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Nice job on this one!

    • LizzyBoo profile image

      LizzyBoo 6 years ago from Czech Republic

      Hi Kim! Well done! You finally made my request! Thank you so much and I am glad to play with you Popmundo. It's a great game.

      xxx

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      I do agree - they are a total escape from reality and that is what some folks need to stay 'sane' in this crazy world I guess. Me, I prefer a book any old day but the same could be said about me - I zone out, tune out and most of the time when I'm reading, I don't hear a thing anyone says to me! Good article, Kim!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thanks danatheteacher!

      LizzyBoo, yes, I finally did it. Now you have to do my request. I love playing Popmundo with you too. Sometimes it's the highlight of my week. It would be no fun without you though.

      Ms. Audrey, reading is another escape from reality. I also escape into books from time to time. Thanks for your comment.

      Thanks to LizzyBoo once again for requesting this Hub!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 6 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      The only games I'm additicted to online ar word games, like crossword, scrabble, and literati. Guess I'm behind the times.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Haha. Well, you have a more... intelligent taste of games. :) That's the best I can come up with. hehe. Thanks for commenting!

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      I prefer to play the classic downloaded games like PacMan, Frogger, Centipede, and I also enjoy Lara Croft on TombRaider. These challenge the eye hand coordination and gives instant gratification when it comes to scoring. I also now play Tetris all the time when I am not on HubPages. Happy Gaming! ;)

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Those games are always pretty fun! PacMan frustrates me! lol. I've never played TombRaider though. I used to be more of an action videogame player... I don't know what happened. haha. Thanks for your comment!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      In the stressful world we live in now, it's nice to have an escape from reality. I think it's actually healthy as long as we remember to come back to "planet Earth."

      Thanks. Great share.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I completely believe with you, Lady E. Thanks for you comment!

    • John B Badd profile image

      John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Kaltopsyd I think RPG's are awesome. Dragon Age is one of my newest favorites and I am looking forward to the MMO's Star Wars Old Republic and DC Universe Online (got a hub on that one;).

      Till next time good gamein' :)

    • kaltopsyd profile image
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      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Ooh, I have to check that Hub out. I don't think I' going to try any more RPGs for a while. I'm already hooked on Popmundo. haha. Thanks for commenting!

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 6 years ago from Oz

      I never got involved with gaming until I got into IT. I was an IT geek for 8 years, in which time I became a keen online/offline gamer (all part of the territory). More the action games, but they're just as addictive. To such a degree that I don't play any more. It was a personal decision, but I found that it was causing me to misplace my priorities. Although I would only play at night, as I didn't want to take away from my family commitments, however in that was the problem. Gaming makes hours pass like minutes, and the sleep deprivation eventually affected the more important areas of my life. I tried less hours; gaming only certain days; setting an alarm to stop; however in the end I had to go cold turkey. Gaming's great if you're disciplined enough to set limits that prevent it impacting negatively on relationships and priorities; failing that...

      Great hub.

    • ACSutliff profile image

      ACSutliff 6 years ago

      K Alto,

      Great hub! I feel like I should have written it! HAHA! I was addicted--seriously addicted--to World of Warcraft for at least two years. I managed to quit, though! I swear I had withdrawals. Very recently I decided I was going to go back, but when I downloaded the game onto my computer, my computer crashed! So I woke up and decided that I quit for a good reason, and I'm glad that I'm not addicted to gaming. I'm already addicted to hubbing! Two addictions would just destroy me!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Parrster, you're absolutely right about it potentially destroying family life. I think I MYSELF need a little more discipline when it comes to playing these games. You've kind of mad me open my eyes to my own flaw. haha. Thanks! And oh my goodness... playing games certainly makes hours pass like minutes - and minutes pass like seconds. I was shocked once when I realised that I had been playing for an hour. It felt like 1 minute! :(

      Thanks for commenting!

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hi AC!

      Hahaha. Maybe you SHOULD have written this Hub. :) Oh my goodness! So your computer crashed? Wow. If you didn't get the message then... I don't know. hahaha. I think I've traded one addiction for another. HubPages for RPG. Sometimes I fluctuate between the two. I need to get these addictions under control.

      Good for you for quitting! :) Thanks for your comment!

    • kirste profile image

      Kirste Coulon 6 years ago from South Africa

      Good hub there are some really amazing ones out there these days haha. keep hubbing id like to keep updated

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I agree. There are some amazing RPGs out there. They're so fun! Thanks for commenting!

    • LizzyBoo profile image

      LizzyBoo 6 years ago from Czech Republic

      *looks around seeing noone*

      Hi Kaltopsyd! *winks* Thank you for allowing me to link your hub with mine. I would not feel complete if you would say no, and you know I would use it anyway.

      xxxx Lizzy Boo

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Lol. Hello,

      Yup, I knew you would do it anyway. :) I'm linking yours too. It was such a good Hub. Thanks for commenting again. It's nice to see you back on HubPages.

    • LizzyBoo profile image

      LizzyBoo 6 years ago from Czech Republic

      Well, I have stored soo many articles on my PC which are not upto date but I like them so there is a more coming on my hubpages account soon. I do not want overrule internet so I will take it easy. :-)

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      hehe, ok. Good luck with all your publishing. Tell me whenever you post a new Hub. I'll stop by and read them. :)

    • profile image

      Emily Anthony 6 years ago

      Also, when you are playing them, it is so difficult to stop because it seems as if you are almost giving up a part of yourself. It is probably most unhealthy. I think that there is no way you can play an RPG without spending hours on it a day. That is why I quit, and even though I am having withdraws, I am realizing how much time I am actually saving myself by getting rid of it. Life is short..lets spend it on things that glorify the God of reality, instead of some of the false gods in some of these alter-realities. I actually think that video games do not solve the problem, but distract us from the problem. The problem of inescapable reality. Each of us will be giving an account. that is why I quit.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      You have a very good point, Emily! I've started setting a time to play... like a schedule so I wouldn't spend the entire day on it. But I know what you mean. I've looked at the time before and realised that I spent over 5 hours in the game world. Not healthy at all.

      Good job quitting and thanks for commenting! :)

    • Fit Nerd profile image

      Fit Nerd 6 years ago from Eastern U.S.

      I think one thing you missed is that these games are addictive not only due to fun, and escapism; but also due to the hard work/reward system built into them.

      "Grinding" is a prime example, the hours of slogging through the monotony of killing "mobs" satisfies our need to feel as if have we earned a reward. Once the level hits, we are given that reward, and what's more in a form that others can see, and measure easily.

      It's a primal drive in our brains to struggle towards our goals rather than merely receive them, something that drives the MMO business model, IMHO.

    • kaltopsyd profile image
      Author

      kaltopsyd 5 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Fit Nerd, I think you're right. Though it does depend on the type of RPGs...

      Thanks for your comment.

    • LizzyBoo profile image

      LizzyBoo 4 years ago from Czech Republic

      OMG after all those years its still here! lol I still love this hub :-)

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