Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) is a genre of role-playing video game
Role-playing video game
Role-playing video games are a video game genre with origins in pen-and-paper role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, using much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. The player in RPGs controls one character, or several adventuring party members, fulfilling one or many quests...

s in which a very large number of players
Player (game)
A player of a game is a participant therein. The term 'player' is used with this same meaning both in game theory and in ordinary recreational games....

 interact with one another within a virtual game world
Virtual world
A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects. The term has become largely synonymous with interactive 3D virtual environments, where the users take the form of...


As in all RPGs
Role-playing game
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development...

, players assume the role of a character
Player character
A player character or playable character is a character in a video game or role playing game who is controlled or controllable by a player, and is typically a protagonist of the story told in the course of the game. A player character is a persona of the player who controls it. Player characters...

 (often in a fantasy world
Fantasy world
A fantasy world is a fictional universe used in fantasy novels and games. Typical worlds involve magic or magical abilities and often, but not always, either a medieval or futuristic theme...

) and take control over many of that character's actions. MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player RPGs by the number of players, and by the game's persistent world
Persistent world
A persistent world is a virtual world that continues to exist even after a user exits the world and that user-made changes to its state are, to some extent, permanent...

 (usually hosted by the game's publisher
Video game publisher
A video game publisher is a company that publishes video games that they have either developed internally or have had developed by a video game developer....

), which continues to exist and evolve while the player is offline and away from the game.

MMORPGs are played throughout the world.