MMORPGs are fundamentally different from other games and simulations because it is represented by large, sophisticated, detailed, and evolving worlds based in different narrative environments. It is also a fully developed multiplayer universe with an advanced and detailed world (p. 53). Examples of these games are EverQuest and World of Warcraft. Gee also mentioned these two popular games in his chapter. In EverQuest and World of Warcraft, players log on to special Internet sites and they play simultaneously with thousands of players all over the world. Unlike games and simulations, the MMORPG experience could not be the same at all because one cannot repeat the game anymore since one could be playing with different players every time one is log on to these worlds. This is also played with affinity groups that are not necessarily present in games and simulations.
These games are similar to virtual worlds like Second Life. One is identified through his/her own avatar. The players can also chat by simply typing in the chat box. They can even talk using their headsets. Like MMORPGs, you could also meet different people across the globe. On the other hand, one of the differences between the two is that Second Life is not a game at all, although there are some features that allow people to have simulations. I came across in the Internet about sims in Second Life like Ancient History Ramblings. It says that it does an excellent job of demonstrating the ins and outs of archaeology. I also believe that SL is mainly used for educational institutions for giving lectures. It is like an online instruction.
A learning problem in my environment that might be addressed by a MMOG is knowing how non-native English speakers communicate in this game. As an English teacher, I feel guilty because there are times that I focused on the content. The main goal of learning a language is to communicate. Thus, it is important for the students to have a chance to practice the language. I believe that the most important goal is for them to express themselves using the target language at the same time be understood by the other. Since some of the students are already fanatic with video games and English as the universal language, asking them of their experiences how they communicate with other players would be interesting. I am sure they will learn more idiomatic and other expressions that they have not encountered. Just like me, my immersion to the native speakers here in the United States helped me to understand better in using the right words and expressions both in formal and informal communication. It is really a great help to go beyond the borders.