Aside from working a seemingly non-stop consulting schedule for the last month and a half (one bus-size poster and six websites baby!), some time has been spent playing games with friends. In particular, a massive-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) called Lineage II.

These vast virtual worlds host tens of thousands of players at a time (hundreds of thousands in countries like Korea). These digital beings can interact with other players through economics, warfare, diplomacy, or can have a conversation just like you and I might through instant messenger. And there are quests which provide plenty of opportunity to kill an orc or five.

Personally I am mesmerized by the design of these worlds. The good ones, and they are few and far between, are lush with detail from the costumes the characters wear to the flowers that cover the mountain ranges. Suns set and moons rise in a similar cycle to that of Earth. The amount of work that goes into these productions is amazing — taking millions of dollars and years to create.

Yet for all the talent and money dumped into this form of entertainment the game play can be tedious and monotonous — only to be really enjoyed by 14 year olds or people who wish renaissance fairs lasted all year long.

Unlike other types of gaming where it’s relatively easy to pop-in for a few minutes and get your fill’s worth, the MMORPG is an attempt to provide genuine role-play that can take hours upon hours just to advance a character to the next level, or stage in life.

Needless to say, all of my friends are light years ahead of me in this game despite the fact that I bought it a week or two before most of them. While I’m glad I bought Lineage II and have seen much of the ‘world’ I don’t think I’m long for the MMORPG. Soon my elf ranger will find his way on the Ebay slave trade where he’ll find a more suitable master.

This is not to say I shall never go back to this genre.

I cannot wait to jump into the World of Warcraft, a game created by Blizzard Entertainment, the best in the business. Four years in the making, Warcraft promises to be the end all, be all of the massive-multiplayer role-playing game. The company is famously known around the world (uh, the real one — Earth) for their strict attention to plush detail and unparalleled quality — producing entertainment that is seldom matched by other companies. I can’t wait to see the designs of what they have been working for so long.