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Lord Of Transience

<center><em>One ring to rule them all
one ring to find them.
One ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them.</em>
– Tolkien's <em>Lord of the Rings</em></center>
For many computer gamers, the ring in question could very well be the ringing sound of their Internet dialup connections. The one short telephone ring before all reality is sucked into the senseless abyss of the shrill shrieking sound made by the modem as it turns all things natural and analogue into a cubic, digital form man-made processors can comprehend. The almost silent proliferation of MMORPGs has taken the world by surprise. MMORPG stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. Though available for the past two to three years, its victims are now just coming out of the closet. Neglected families, lost jobs and a decimated social life are just a few of the symptoms of the MMORPG disease. Even as those brave enough to escape warn us of the impact of these virtual communities, the entertainment industry's computer gaming arm continues to build the money-making machine that would earn their millions. Quite a few MMORPGs are slated for release in the near future, among the largest being <a href="http://www.neverwinternights.com/" target="_blank">NeverWinter Nights</a> by <a href="http://www.bioware.com" target="_blank">Bioware</a>.
Why do people do this? It is the temptation of a new life. A different life. In a different world. Where you could build everything from scratch once again. A world not bound by societal standards that limit you based on your physical attractiveness or how much you earn. Friends become comrades as you battle dragons, seek treasure and save princesses in disguise. Respect is given to them who cast the most powerful spells, wield the greatest swords and fire off arrows with pinpoint accuracy. A new life. Who wouldn't?
Feel the warmth of the sun, breathe the fresh air. Look in the eyes of a child. I've to remind myself constantly to invest in what is real and true, and to enjoy life in all its analogue glory.
For more information, read "<a href="http://news.com.com/2100-1040-881673.html" target="_blank">When Games Stop Being Fun</a>" by <a href="http://news.com" target="_blank">News.com</a>.
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