Text Games - Why Play a Textual RPG Game?

addicting games pvp
By RA Pickett


Text Games are the Most Addicting Games

 Unlike many addicting games found on the web, text games have experienced longevity based on the fact that the imagination carries a player into unknown lands. Text games have grown from the tabletop version games such as Dungeons & Dragons. Yet, they differ from Dungeons & Dragons because the game continues to evolve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the aid of players, programmers, and story tellers who make these addicting games come to life. Plus, a player enters the story and becomes a part of a continuing saga that is always exciting - be it on the personal level or as part of a world wild event. While many readers may be quick to dismiss the idea of a written game because honestly, "Who wants to read??" it only needs to be pointed out that many readers of this article are in constant use of written language to communicate. We text one another, use chat clients, and other social networking programs.


What Makes These Addicting Games so Addicting?

 The online text game is a predecessor and extension of 'chatting'. Like many of those social networking programs and chat clients, those who venture into RPG online games would be surprised to find that they are free to play as well. The key here is not to look at textual RPG games as a 'reading' game, but as an online social network that exists in a fantasy land. Inside the game you can go from being yourself to taking on the persona of a great hero or heroine. What is important to mention is that while the player may have to read the text, he or she discovers that the textual RPG game has an element that graphical games do not, and that is the element of imagination. Since there are no graphics, a player begins to see other players and to experience the world in his or her mind. While high end graphical games have had considerable success since gaming has evolved, the one complaint that many have is the cost of the game and questioning if it is worth it.


What Do They Cost to Play?

 In our current economic downtrend, many readers would be surprised to discover that our addicting games are free to play. If the player chooses, he or she can spend money for extras in game, but it is never truly necessary. The games have been created to help you advance and to gain gold, experience, and gear through series of events. What's even more remarkable is that some games, but not all, offer players the chance to create beyond playing a character. Let's say a player like to program, to build or to code. There are chances that many RPG games offer you the gain extra amour and items by donating a few hours time. If a user likes to draw, write stories, or create works of art, there are contests that many RPG online text games hold where one can win in game credits too. And, no money is ever spent. The gain is in the hands of the player if he or she chooses. If you like what you have read, try out some great text adventure games.

RA Pickett is an avid text game enthusiast and currently enjoys games from www.IronRealms.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=RA_Pickett


Having played MUDs for several years, and RP-enforced MUDs for about half that time, I question the wisdom of some of the arguments in this article.

Advertising MUDs (especially RP-enforced ones) to the audience of teens who hate reading but love social networking and chatting may bring new players, but I do not believe that it will be beneficial to them in the long-term. These new players are likely to either play briefly and then lose interest (as they realize that MUDs are less like their favorite chat services than they thought and are unwilling to put in the huge amounts of effort it takes to build a strong character and get into the mechanical aspects of gameplay), or, perhaps worse, to act in silly or out-of-character ways, find this fun, and disrupt the playing experiences of others.

I hope that MUDs will continue to reach a wider audience, but I do not think it is a good idea to try to push them on people who are likely to detract from their environment. If they are the type to enjoy the immersive experience and depth of a MUD, they should only need to hear about the amazing things that happen, the detailed world that exists inside, and not arguments about "why reading isn't terrible" or "why MUDs are like chatting."

My other concern about this piece is that being "free-to-play" is mentioned several times in two different paragraphs. This seems like a lack of proofreading, perhaps. To some, however, it might look like the article is just a disguised advertisement, over-emphasizing the "free-to-play" aspect rather than just pointing it out once. (This is not helped by the fact that pay-for-perks is also mentioned, but only after free-to-play is emphasized). An article like this deserves to be taken seriously as an analysis of the interesting opportunities for text-based games, but it will not be if it looks like an ad.

Thanks for the comments Khezar. I think we are going to make some revisions based on your suggestions.


I started out gaming as any normal person. Console games, then visual RPGs- mainly Guild Wars. An ex boyfriend introduced me to Achaea and- being an avid reader- I was instantly immersed in the game. How the rooms look, people's descriptions, events... Even hunting was a joy to watch. The different attacks, the deathsights. Everything was amazing. It was making my imagination grow more than when I was just reading books.

I started out a Jester- mainly because it matched how I wanted to feel. Goofy, kinda fun, with an explosive side- way back when there was still Puppet Obliterate (bring it back!! Kidding!). I saw through a friend the events of how Blademasters were introduced, she had an inside eye to it all and just the story itself left open a huge world that I wanted to enjoy and improve, so I went from Jester to Blademaster- my blade "Whispering Imp" helped my role-play of the change I went through.

The world is an ever-changing book, much like real life. If you allow yourself to get into the imagery, let your imagination run wild, anyone can see how amazing the world can and will be.

Unlike any other RPG games, this one determines how you will succeed or fail. I imagine this game as if I am writing my very own story based on my character, and how that character grows in success, learns from failures, and creates more fun along the way. As each day grows by, new chances are created and we can make them last a lifetime. I would say that some of the most important parts of life are predicted in events that we cannot portray as.

This game has totally got me hooked. I learned so much, and I still learn more. You can never stop learning once it beings. It's like a teacher, where the books just isn't enough!

As an individual who has played MUD's for more than a decade now, I can safely say that it's been a rather interesting development not only for each of the characters that I've played, but rather myself as well. I began playing MUD's at the age of eight on one that, if I recall, was called Mystic Forces. I didn't know any better at the time, but I found that they were a rather nice reprieve from the various games I had for Playstation and the Nintendo 64. I found this was the case because I wasn't simply playing a game where the plot and character were already pre-defined for me. No, I was able to create my own story with my own character while integrating him into the stories of other characters that players had created. However, being eight years old, I had the grammatical and vocabulary that one would expect out of an eight year old. However, in time I moved to Iron Realms and began playing Achaea when it was a couple years old. The precedents of roleplay there were far greater than they were in Mystic Forces. In time, I was adopting a superior talent in English more so than the rest of my generation and my characters began developing into more developed and rich characteristics that were only enhanced by the features that Iron Realm had in their MUD's to set them apart from the rest. For the next ten years, I would go from MUD to MUD across Iron Realms. I can say that my characters have held political positions ranging from guildmaster to city leader in most of them, and I have felt that I have achieved something in them that I could not playing Mystic Forces or any other MUD out there. In retrospect, it's kind of funny how I think I used to be embarassed about playing MUD's as a teenager. However, when I see my friends playing MMO's and most of them getting bored because of the monotonous point and click, I can only chuckle as I think to myself that in few months/years they've been playing MMO's, I've spent far less money than them in the last ten years I've been playing MUD's.

Every fight, every political power play, it all shapes the future of that realm. These games are not only a chance to interact, but a chance to build not only yourself, but the world you exist in. You can construct in video games, but the level of creativity pales in comparision to that of your own imagination. As you build and coexist, friendships and enemies will come too. It all goes to play in not only your story, but in the story of others in more ways then you maybe actually grasp. This is much more than just an escape from reality, these games offer a level of expression that far defeat conventional video games. Your only limits are the ones you create for yourself.

I've had plenty of years to play my share of video games, and I always find myself coming back to text based games. MUDs are among the most in-depth and intricate means of escaping reality. The fantasy world gives you so many more options over those of games that use graphics. You get complete control over how your character is shaped and what direction you take. I've had so much fun in my time learning new abilities for my class then testing them out or reading what the ability does over and over. Your imagination is the greatest graphics processor there is. You only need to allow yourself to be able to experience the fun that can be had.

I started playing Lusternia on a much older account maybe about some years ago when my friend first introduced me to it. I didn't quite grasp the concept of how a game revolving around text could ever work. Needless to say, I was dead wrong.

MUDs, just like most of the mainstream MMORPGs will immerse you into a fantasy world where the heart of the entire game experience lies in your interactions with other players. While there are no fancy graphics to do the work of rendering everything for you, there is beautiful descriptive language in its place. As stated in the article, this takes the visualization of the world away from your computer's processing unit, and instead into the realms of your own imagination. Somehow the writing in most of these games are very evocative and shows you a realm of descriptive writing that you never knew existed. I should also note that after playing MUDs so frequently, I've found myself depicting scenes and imagery far better in my own writing.

Now, if you were anything like me when I first started out, I mistakenly believed that a text-based game would be extremely limited, clunky and all around frustrating to play.
I have since changed my mind.
It's quite clear that once the constraints of a graphical world are taken out, a text-based game allows a player with that many more options. The world in itself is now allowed to become infinitely more interactive to the player, and allow him to blend in and lose himself into the world.

In most graphical games today, interactivity is only really an emerging reality. Often times there will be characters who don't say a word, objects you can do nothing with, animals you can only look at and paths which will remain the same for years.

In the MUD, everything is dynamic. Whether it be drastic changes in weather, or an all around change in the usual scenery of an area, you never feel as if you're always traversing the same hackneyed paths.

The text-based medium allows for the game developer to add and change as he likes.
The world becomes more like a real world where new things our allowed to unfold every day and every object has a purpose. Unique events can be produced every once in a while where new denizens can appear, new lands can open up and new abilities and classes become available in a seamless fashion. In the world of the graphical MMORPG, the user is bothered by updates and downloadable content, and often times there is a splitting of the community because of this. MUDs command far more unity amongst players in this regard.

Furthermore, it is easy for story events to suddenly occur within an MUD. Gods and other characters may actually interact with the players and affect the game world, unfolding new elements to the game's lore. Just the other day in Lusternia, a number of characters joined in to help an immortal in her time of need.
Game elements like these are almost unheard of in graphical MMORPGS.

Even further, a community is always present within the MUD and I feel as if it's even easier for players to interact, make friends and help each other in a text based game. Every single player is available for contact right at your fingertips. On top of this, player-player interaction is almost required in order to progress in such a game. As such, making friends is very easy and almost necessary. Unfettered by usual limitations, a text-based game even allows different ways to be found in groups with players, whether it be clans, families, combat squads and community members. You're given something in common with these people and feel as if you belong with them.

To finish off, I sincerely hope that MUDs catch the eye of more players out there. There's a lot to be gained, and it's quite an unparalleled experience.

For me, it's the intelligence level of most MMO's that turn me off to them. Graphics are shiny and nice, don't get me wrong, but when you can immerse yourself so completely in a game that the lines of reality blur, and it becomes what the epitome of an experience -should- be, that's when you know you have something worth keeping. There's actual thoughts to be had about text games, real choices that have ripple-effects in everything you do. It's far beyond the simple point and click questing that so many of us are so accustomed to. There's a level that strives for excellence and in that, we become smarter people in our understanding of the English language, in all of its depth and scope.

My reason for playing the text game was to have fun.
The fun I found is the reason I stayed.

- it was a smart decision.

When I began playing Achaea four years ago, I thought I would get bored of it within a week or so, since it was text-based, and previous games I played that did have graphics were ultimately about level-grinding and being the best player in the world, so I figured it'd be the same concept. I soon learned that I couldn't have been more wrong, as not everyone shared the same close-minded goal. Some people do strive to be the strongest combatants, but others choose different paths, such as scholars, politicians, thieves, teachers, or even bums. Some live to help others, some live to benefit only themselves, and some even live for the destruction of everything. The options available to customize your character are endless, from describing the way he or she looks to writing a history of where the character comes from, to joining a city and even, through your actions, create a reputation for yourself. And, unlike most "graphical" games, players in text games are generally friendly and actually get to know you, rather than you go take out a few monsters with two or three other people without as much as saying hi. One thing I really like is how detailed IRE is, especially when it comes to combat. My character isn't the best fighter around, but I still enjoy it nonetheless, because when it comes to how detailed it can be, just reading the attack as it hits my character can make me feel what my character's feeling. Finally, this is probably one of my most favorite things, is IRE games are so realistic, that one character can change the entire course of the realms.

I've played a couple MMOs and they didn't really interest me. I guess I'm used to having a fully customized character on my text game. I look exactly like I want to look like, my clothes are exactly how I want them to be, and I can get the craziest pets imaginable instead of settling for a variation of colour-swapped wargs.

For the most part, the environment seems to be a lot more mature than in a graphical game. I don't feel rushed or hurried to do anything, and while the need to grind is there, it isn't the ONLY aspect of the game. There's tons of people to get to know, each with their own agenda!

In a text game, anything can literally happen. Graphic games are so limitted, I don't know how anyone could play them without getting super bored!

I think one of the reasons why trying out a text-based game is a good idea is because it presents you with an experience that expands your ideas about what's possible in a game. It challenges your preconceptions of what needs to be in a game to make it fun.

EEK, challenge! Who wants to be challenged in a game?

I don't mean that it's like work. I mean that it's a new experience that demonstrates what can be done with something that you thought was boring (ie. text).

The games have all the things you want in a fantasy game (killing goblins and orc, casting spells, etc.). But what's amazing is how flexible the text is. It presents you with an opportunity to express yourself in a way that other games won't allow you. For instance, I have no artistic ability, NONE! Before playing MUDs, I could conjure awesome images in my mind, but never translate them into reality. But the flexibility of a text-based games allowed me to present these images and actually inhabit them!

The "blank page" of the mud challenged me to bring my imagination to life and gave me the tools to do it. Very cool.

Beyond that, the communities that you find on MUDs challenge you to do better. You see how awesome other people are at combat, at bashing at role-playing with one another. This guides and inspires me to do as well as they do. And they're generally helpful too. The community WANTS you to do well.

MUDs provide you with a chance to exercise and expand your creativity where graphical games limit it.

You need to play text based games for the depth, it's that simple. When you're talking about multiplayer online roleplaying games, on a very basic level, you can divide them into the graphical and text-based varieties. Now it's true, new graphical games are coming out all time, sometimes at the rate of a few new ones a year, and independent games are getting very big, and each new company and each new game adds some new little twist to the genre. There are new methods of fighting, character customization, pvp methods, etc. But no matter how hard they try, they'll never be able to match the depth of the text-based system. Your average graphical mmo has usually a few pages on its main page detailing the history and lore of the world it's set in. Very few people ever actually read that page, and fewer still ever mention it in the game. Ninety nine percent of people playing those games are running around killing zombies in temples with no idea who built that temple, who is was built for, why it was built where it was, or why it's still important to the game. They just run around killing the monsters, and then stand around talking about their work week, or favorite tv shows using phrases and words like "pwn teh noob3rz, or lolerskates." Beyond that, text-based worlds are constant, and actually change. I will guarantee you that each time you log in, something will be different than the last time. Someone else will be in power somewhere, some deity will have come into the mortal realms and stirred something up, some major battle between cities or guilds or holy orders will have taken place, some huge new part of the world will have been discovered. You'll always be on your toes.

In a text based game, you'll know why that temple's there and which god it was built to, because you'll have to. That god's religious order is still alive, the high priest will still be performing rituals there, that god is still alive and an active part of the world. In fact, you may be walking down a highway somewhere, and find yourself face to face with that very deity or another one. The gods aren't just three paragraph stories on a page no one reads, they real, playing characters. Maybe you want to enter into the service of one of them and be an active part of the priesthood. That's great, but it's more than that because each god has several conflicting sects worshipping them, not to mention the followers of the other gods.

Your city isn't just a place to stand around hoping to make a profit on an auction house, or count the number of people who have been 'afk' for over an hour. Your city is a real, breathing entity, ruled and governed by the people who live there, maintaining a standing army and fighting real, full-on wars with the other cities.

Your guild is run by the people that are members of it. They have their own political agendas, and their own role to play in the game.

There are whole libraries, filled with hundreds of volumes. Each one of those volumes was written by a real, living player.

You are not just some stereotypical knight in armor or mage in robes, running around pushing the same five buttons and hoping to heaven you can find a group to run some instance, and that if you do find a group, that they'll all actually stick around long enough to finish the whole thing. You are a citizen of a living, breathing, diverse city, who may potentially come into a rulership position within that city, or end up commanding the armies that defend it. You are a member of a guild, undertaking whatever actions best suit that particularly gathering of people. You are a member of a religious order, endeavouring to further the interests of your chosen deity. You are playing in character, speaking the way that you think your character, in his or her position in this partcular world would speak or behave or move or look.

I'll come out and say it, text-based games aren't for everyone, because text-based games are not games, they living, conscious worlds, that you WILL lose yourself in. But if you think you're the type of person who might fit in here, or if you're just curious, you should play text-based games for the depth, it's that simple.

Text-based games may be boring for some - but this is just the type of games that kindle the minds of the imaginative. I honestly would bore easily of a game wherein all images, sceneries and events are already fixed. With a text-based RPG, I can play the game the way I want to - well, not exactly that way since there are rules to follow - but my imagination and will can take over, too. The adventure and challenge other RPG games pose is here, and it's not as boring as some games wherein everything gets tedious and routine. Every aspect of the game changes at some point, and the events are the collective effort of every player in the game. You get to experience role-playing using your own imagination and you also get to interact with every player - a world which you can very well call your own and still get to share with everybody else.


It's always a really fun time, login after login

I love meeting new people, learning cultures, and losing myself in a world that just blows me away. While Achaea has been my first and only text game so far, it has a unique factor to it that just isn't there in most other type of games: The beauty of one's imagination. This to me is what sets Textual RPG games apart from anything out there simply because you are literally immersing yourself to a living library, where you yourself create your own book, starting from your history to even the most minute details such as character description or even tone of voice. The best part of it all is that you have the freedom to choose how deep you want to carry your imagination, allowing you to have a wide variety of freedom that would otherwise be limited to what your eyes see in graphical type games. To top it off, while you lose yourself in your imagination, you may find yourself finding more and more that the people you meet and the relationships you forge may not be so fictional after all.

To someone with an affinity toward both video games and language, the question of "why play text-based games" (side note: "RPG game" is a somewhat grating department of redundancy department term, much like "PIN number" and "ATM machine") is almost silly.
Having played both graphical and text-based games I'll say both have their perks, but I definitely enjoy the (somewhat) RP-enforced environment. When trying to immerse oneself in a fantasy world, it's rather disruptive to be constantly flooded with leetspeak, smileys, and inane memes. And while seeing, say, a beautifully rendered magical forest in a graphical game can be breathtaking, it can never compare to what my imagination will do with a well-written magical forest. Similarly, if I had to see some of what goes on with evil roleplay rendered graphically, I would probably decide the game was too dark/violent for me and turn my back on it, whereas with text one can explore the story possibilities contained therein while staying within the comfort zone of one's own imagination. I'm sure this comparison has been made before and is flawed, but to me asking why one should play text games is a bit like asking why one should read books. Movies didn't render them obsolete. And while watching, say, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is absolutely awesome, it is a completely different experience from reading the books (that cannot be compared qualitatively).
The lack of graphics also allows for an incredibly complex and fascinating combat system that would make servers explode otherwise.

I'm so addicted it's not funny :(

It almost makes me want to pop a FREE CIALIS reading this article and seeing the phrase "addicting games" so forcefully sprinkled through it, like PHOENIX UNIVERSITY spam through my junk folder, in some kind of PENIS ENLARGEMENT offer designed to entice google. If you're reading this, YOU MAY ALREADY BE A WINNER.

Anyway, I agree with the social aspect. Previously I dismissed this concept as a grab at appealing to the "social game" market by likening Achaea to Farmville, which would surely only draw in people who just wanted to chat, and they were dome. But this game is really about interacting with other people in a meaningful and interesting way. Discussing Chaos, or whether that new planet in the sky spells doom, or why they shouldn't kill me. It's the character immersion of D&D, and then you're running past dozens of other people in the same situation, exchanging views, if they aren't too busy bashing. I wish they would focus more on that element of the game, instead of endless promotions, because it's its best asset, and the one that drew me back from League of Legends.


Why not?