The Virtual Economies in Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Economies are prevalent in every system of the world, whether tribal societies or modern urban societies. Each society has an economy and hence the creators of society and economies also decided to add economies in the virtual worlds of games that it has created. Virtual economies are found in every Massively Multiplayer Online Games and are important parts of all these games. An in detail guide and understanding of Virtual Economies is given below:

Virtual Economies:

Virtual Economies are in game online economies created by the game developers who have developed a particular game and controlled and operated by those gamers who play the game. Virtual Economies are an essential part of every Massively Multiplayer Online Game as the money made or acquired by completing tasks or dealing with other games from these economies often help the gamers and their characters grow and advance in the virtual world of the game. The Virtual Economies are much like the real economic system of the world where the gamers deal with each other to keep the economy in balance and keep it in survival. These economies often deal with the objects and the in game currency, but in games that are being developed nowadays the gamers can choose to buy certain objects to help them advance in the game at a faster pace. These transactions hence are made with real currency with either the game developer or another gamer.

The Virtual Economies are often criticized on the ground that these economies are somewhat beneficiary to the gamers, but can be a hindrance or a pest in the real economy of the world if these games keep growing at the fast pace that they have grown in since its proper inception in 1992.

Controversial Issues:

Many gamers also enter these Massively Multiplayer Online Games or subscribe to it with the sole purpose of making a decent amount of money from these virtual economies by trading their belongings or other objects for real currency or money outside the game.

There have been controversies related to Virtual Economies and markets. The most recent ones have been accusations of black market existence. Just like the real economy and the real world, the Virtual Economies and the virtual gaming world too have black markets where the gamers get deals they would otherwise not get in the virtual gaming world. Most people enter Virtual Economies for the recreation or the joy that they gain from participating in these games and being a part of the Virtual Economies that these games have created. There are some though who enter these Virtual Economies to gain from these economies and gamers in monetary terms. These gamers or intruders have created a separate market for the Virtual Economies called Black Markets.

Black Markets:

Black Markets come into existence when the gamer trades in game goods in the real world for real money to improve his status in the gaming world, hence creating supply and demand. Many Massively Multiplayer Online Games like RuneScape, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars have dedicated separate sections of their companies and games to eradicate the threat of Black Markets from their games.

Types of Massively Multiplayer Online Games

The different types of Massively Multiplayer Online Games include the following types of games. They may be accessed online or offline, but all have to be played online at some point in time. In all, there are generally sixteen types of recognized Massively Multiplayer Online Games. The following are some examples:

  • Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) – Harry Potter
  • Massively Multiplayer Battle Arena – League of Legends
  • Massively Multiplayer Real Time Strategy Games – Age of Empires, Rise of Nations
  • Massively Multiplayer First Person Shooter Games – Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament
  • Massively Multiplayer Sports Games – FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer
  • Massively Multiplayer Racing Games – Need for Speed, Drift City
  • Massively Multiplayer Dancing Games – Dance Dance Revolution, Audition Online
  • Massively Multiplayer Management Games – The Sims, Monopoly City Streets
  • Massively Multiplayer Social Games – Second Life, Club Caribe
  • Massively Multiplayer Bulletin BoardGames – Quest For Magic
  • Massively Multiplayer Puzzle Games – Three Rings
  • Massively Multiplayer Collectible Card Games – Astral Masters
  • Massively Multiplayer Alternative Reality Games – Second Life
  • Massively Multiplayer Turn Based Strategy Games – Ultracorps
  • Massively Multiplayer Online Simulation Games – Jumpgate

Below is a comprehensive, but not all inclusive, list of free games that can be accessed or played without advertisements of any sort.

Free Massively Multiplayer Online Games:

Allegiance – Allegiance was released by Microsoft Research on March 16, 2000. It is a Space Simulation or RTS Hybrid. It can be played on Windows and is a 3D game.

Astro Battle – Astro Battle was launched by Lava Lord Games on December 31, 2014. It can be accessed on Windows or Linux. It is a multi-directional shooter game and is played on 2D.

Crossfire – Crossfire was released in 1992 and is one of the oldest free Massively Multiplayer Online Game. It is a multi-platform game which can be accessed on Windows, Linux and OS X and other operating systems. It is a Medieval Fantasy Role-Playing Game and can be accessed on 2D.

Gekkeiju Online – Gekkeiju Online is a Cool House Productions release. It was launched on the Windows platform in 2003. This is a role-playing game set in the Medieval Fantasy world and can be accessed on 3D.

Free Massively Multiplayer Online Games Consisting of In-Game Ads:

Anarchy Online – Developed by Funcom and released on June 27, 2001, Anarchy Online can be played on Windows and is available only on 3D.

Jennifer Government: Nation States – Jennifer Government: Nation States was developed by Max Barry and was released on November 13, 2002. It is a browser-based game and falls in the category of Government Simulation Games. It is played on the web and is not available on 3D.

Free Massively Multiplayer Online Games with Mini-Transactions:

9Dragons – 9Dragons was developed by Indy21 in 2007 and is a role-playing game that can be accessed on Windows. It has items which have to be bought in the game and advertisements too.

Age of Empires Online – The massively popular computer games can be played online. Developed by Microsoft and released on August 16, 2011, this game is based on medieval quests and role-playing at certain points. It is a 3D game.