[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsOnline http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lord-of-the-rings-online_727.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:So TheRoleplayer, the MinMaxing {{Munchkin}}, [[DungeonmastersGirlfriend the guild master's girlfriend]] and an obligatory {{Noob}} walk into a [[DungeonCrawling dungeon]]...]]

->''"Now that you have 25 mouths screaming different curses and 50 feet running in different directions, you have a perfect simulation of every birth defect and psychological disorder known to science, and are ready for a grand adventure."''
-->--'''{{Creator/Seanbaby}}''', [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/understanding-the-world-of-warcraft-using-super-mario-brothers/#ixzz33RWYnVr5 "Understanding the World of Warcraft Using Super Mario Bros."]]

The Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, or MMORPG is, as the name suggests, a roleplaying game with hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of players all connected through the Internet. Most of these games are "pay-for-play", with gamers registering an account with their copy of the game and buying play time in monthly increments.

The MMORPG has its roots in text-based [[MultiUserDungeon Multi-User Dungeons]] ([=MUDs=]) and [[MultiUserSharedHallucination Multi-User Shared Hallucinations]] ([=MUSH=]es) originating in [[OlderThanTheNES the mists of time]]. Eventually, sprite-based graphics were introduced in 1991 with Don Daglow's ''[[VideoGame/NeverwinterNightsAOL Neverwinter Nights]]'' ([[AdaptationDisplacement not to be confused]] with the [[VideoGame/NeverwinterNights traditional computer RPG of the same name]] by Bioware). While games like ''Meridian 59'', ''[[VideoGame/TheRealmOnline Sierra's The Realm]]'' and ''VideoGame/UltimaOnline'' kept the genre alive throughout the 90s, it wasn't until 1999 that ''VideoGame/EverQuest'' put the entire genre on the map by introducing a gigantic and deeply fleshed-out fully 3D world for players to explore from a first person or third person perspective. ''[=EverQuest=]'' would pave the way for which a great majority of the games listed below owe their conceptual existence to, though elements of the MMORPG are OlderThanTheyThink, since they can be traced back to ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''.

[[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Mumorpugers]] add a social and collaborative element to standard gaming, which obviously alters the experience. It creates the possibility of team-based gameplay elements; as anyone can tell you, playing a soccer video game by yourself, with only the AI as company, is not nearly as fun, spontaneous or challenging as having friends over. Now imagine 40-a-side soccer, 'cuz [=MMOs=] can do that. [=MMORPGs=] provide quests or dungeons which can take dozens of allied adventurers at once (and bosses that ''require'' them), or "[[PlayerVersusPlayer Player vs. Player]]" zones where duels or team matches can take place. The competition between "Guilds" (player-organized adventuring parties) can get heated ([[SeriousBusiness just a little]]), and there's always [[JustOneMoreLevel one more boss to kill or piece of loot to collect]]. Innumerable friendships, both online and in RealLife, have started or been maintained via MMO games. There's even a bit of an industry grown up around it, where people pay real money for in-game objects, currency or even characters; some companies discourage this, while others facilitate it or even make it part of their own economic model by selling such things themselves.

Having said that, you're paying a monthly fee, anywhere from $10 to $15, for this game. The math does line up; if you bought (say) ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' at $50 when it came out and then played it for 50 hours, all you need to do is play your MMO at least 15 hours a month to keep up the same monetary efficiency. And some people find 16 hours a ''week'' to be a slow pace. Nonetheless, the whole ongoing-fee thing does rankle gamers who are just getting into the genre for the first time. While free-to-play [=MMOs=] do exist, they often contain reduced content, or restrict certain features to people who are willing to pay. Furthermore, because an MMO company's livelihood is in those monthly subscriptions, it's in their best interests to make the game as [[FakeLongevity draggingly slow]], [[FakeDifficulty nitpicky]], [[FetchQuest indirect]] or [[LevelGrinding tedious]] as possible. Of course, get ''too'' un-fun and people stop playing, so [=MMOs=] are constantly figuring out ways to give you little achievements that keep you interested (to the point of allegedly employing [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner_box "Skinner Box" operant conditioning techniques]] to keep you playing like a lab rat pressing a lever for a reward). GottaCatchEmAll is a big part of the genre's addictiveness: there's often a wide variety of {{Side Quest}}s the player can choose to achieve, and pursuing them will often bring the player's character all the way up to maximum level. Finally, the team-based aspect of the game can make victory a dicey proposition; depending on the game and the situation, just a single LeeroyJenkins can result in death for all forty of his teammates. In other words, you can lose even if you play perfectly, because ''someone else'' screwed up.

Note that not all massively multi-player games are RolePlayingGames; for instance, ''Videogame/PlanetSide'' is a Massively Multiplayer FirstPersonShooter, ''VideoGame/AutoAssault'' [[{{Cancellation}} was]] a DrivingGame with RPGElements, ''Drift City'' is what you get when ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious'' is turned into an MMOG, ''VideoGame/SecondLife'' is a social environment, ''VideoGame/ShatteredGalaxy'' is a RealTimeStrategy with RPG elements, and ''MagicTheGathering Online'' is a straight port of the CollectibleCardGame where the only "Massive Multiplayer Online" part is the lobby where you connect with other players. Massively Multiplayer [=RPG=]s are the most common, so common in fact, [[YouKeepUsingThatWord most people actually don't realize that the first three letters of the term "MMORPG" refer to "Massively Multiplayer Online"]] and that there ''can'' very easily be such a thing as an MMOG that is ''NOT'' an RPG. Nowadays, if you refer to a game as an MMOG, the first thing people will think about is this.

For tropes related to [=MMORPGs=], see: AnAdventurerIsYou, AllegedlyFreeGame, PerpetuallyStatic, {{Altitis}},
FakeLongevity, FakeDifficulty, FakeBalance, FetchQuest (and subtrope TwentyBearAsses), and the ubiquitous LevelGrinding.

Online Game Providers:
+ Creator/AeriaGames
+ Creator/CyberStep
+ Creator/GPotato
+ Creator/KruInteractive
+ Creator/NCsoft
+ Creator/{{Nexon}}
+ Creator/OGPlanet
+ Creator/SonyOnlineEntertainment
+ Creator/SquareEnix

!!Notable games in this genre:

* ''[[VideoGame/TwelveTailsOnline 12 Tails Online]]''
* ''Videogame/{{Aberoth}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Achaea}}''
* ''VideoGame/AceOnline'' (Also known as ''VideoGame/AirRivals'')
* ''VideoGame/AdventureQuestWorlds'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/{{AdventureQuest3D}}'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/{{Aetolia}}''
* ''VideoGame/AfterProtocol'' (MMORTS)
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfConan''
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfGunslingersOnline''
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfTime''
* ''VideoGame/{{Aion}}: The Tower of Eternity''
* ''VideoGame/AllodsOnline''
* ''VideoGame/AllPointsBulletin'' (cancelled in 2010)
* ''VideoGame/AlphaOutpostBlues''
* ''VideoGame/{{Alteil}}''
* ''VideoGame/AnarchyOnline''
* ''VideoGame/AnimalJam''
* ''VideoGame/AolaStar''
* ''VideoGame/ArmoredWarfare''
* ''VideoGame/AsheronsCall''
* ''VideoGame/AstroEmpires''
* ''VideoGame/AtlanticaOnline''
* ''VideoGame/AuraKingdom'' (free-to-play, {{Anime}} styled action mmo)
* ''VideoGame/AutoAssault'' (cancelled in 2007)
* ''VideoGame/BattleStations''
* ''VideoGame/BattlestarGalacticaOnline'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/BillyVsSNAKEMAN'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/BitHeroes'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/BlackDesertOnline'' (buy to play)
* ''VideoGame/BladeAndSoul'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/CantrII''
* ''[[VideoGame/LunaOnline Celestia Luna]]'' (formerly ''VideoGame/LunaOnline'')
* ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/ChroniclesOfElyria''
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' and its counterpart ''City Of Villains'' (used to be pay, free to play. Now defunct.)
** ''VideoGame/CityOfTitans'' a fan-made SpiritualSuccessor
* ''VideoGame/ClosersOnline''
* ''VideoGame/ClubPenguin''
* ''VideoGame/CombatArms'' (MMOFPS)
* ''VideoGame/DarkAgeOfCamelot''
* ''VideoGame/{{Darkeden}}''
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfTheDragons''
* ''VideoGame/DCUniverseOnline'' (used to be pay, free to play)
* ''VideoGame/DeadFrontier''
* ''VideoGame/{{Defiance}}''
* ''VideoGame/DealtInLead''
* ''VideoGame/{{Destiny}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Destiny 2}}''
* ''VideoGame/DigimonBattle''
* ''VideoGame/DivinaOnline'' (English version discontinued. Free To Play)
* ''VideoGame/TheDivision''
* ''VideoGame/DoctorWhoWorldsInTime'' (discontinued February 2014)
* ''VideoGame/{{Dofus}}''
* ''VideoGame/DragonBallOnline'' (Closed in September 2013)
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestX'' ([[NoExportForYou Japan only]])
* ''{{VideoGame/Dragonica}}'' a.k.a. ''VideoGame/DragonSaga'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/DragonNest'' (HackAndSlash ActionRPG)
* ''VideoGame/{{Dragonvale}}''
* ''VideoGame/DrakensangOnline''
* ''VideoGame/DreamOfMirrorOnline'' (social MMORPG, now dead, RIP)
* ''VideoGame/DungeonBlitz''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline'' (MMO 2D Fantasy BeatEmUp)
* ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'' (used to be pay, now free to play)
* ''VideoGame/EarthAndBeyond'' (Defunct)
* ''VideoGame/EarthEternal'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/EdenEternal'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline''
* ''VideoGame/{{Elsword}}'' (3-D side-scrolling, free to play)
* ''VideoGame/TheEndlessForest'' (free to play also, art game about deer)
* ''VideoGame/EndOfNations'' (different from the others that it's a MMO'''''[[RealTimeStrategy RTS]]''''', free to play)
* ''VideoGame/EpicDuel''
* ''VideoGame/ERepublik''
* ''VideoGame/EternalLands''
* ''VideoGame/EtherSagaOdyssey'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/EverQuest'' (the TropeCodifier and creator of the concept)
* ''VideoGame/EverQuestII''
* ''Videogame/EVEOnline''
* ''{{VideoGame/Evony}}''
* ''Videogame/FaeryTaleOnline''
* ''VideoGame/FallenEarth''
* ''VideoGame/FantasyEarthZero''
* ''VideoGame/FantasyOnline''
* ''VideoGame/FarmVille''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyBrigade''
* ''VideoGame/{{Firefall}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Flyff}}''
* ''VideoGame/ForumWarz''
* ''VideoGame/FreeRealms'' (Defunct as of March 2014)
* ''VideoGame/FrontierVille''
* ''VideoGame/{{Furcadia}}''
* ''VideoGame/FusionFall''
* ''Website/GaiaOnline''
* ''VideoGame/GalaxyLegion'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/{{Glitch}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/GhostInTheShellFirstAssaultOnline Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex: First Assault Online]]'' (Free to play)
* ''VideoGame/GhostXUltimate''
* ''VideoGame/GlobalAgenda''
* ''VideoGame/GranadoEspada'' AKA ''Sword of the New World''
* ''VideoGame/GrandChase''
* ''VideoGame/GrandFantasia'' (fantasy MMORPG)
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars''
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars2''
* ''VideoGame/HarryPotterIntoTheFire''
* ''VideoGame/HavenAndHearth''
* ''VideoGame/HolyBeastOnline'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/HeroSmash'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/ImperiumNova''
* ''VideoGame/ImprobableIsland''
* ''VideoGame/TheInquisitionLegacy''
* ''VideoGame/InfinityTheQuestForEarth''
* ''VideoGame/IrisOnline''
* ''VideoGame/TheIslandOfKesmai''
* ''VideoGame/JadeDynasty''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing''
* ''VideoGame/LaTale in Europe''
* ''VideoGame/LegendsOfEquestria'' (currently in development)
* ''VideoGame/LEGOMinifiguresOnline''
* ''VideoGame/LEGOUniverse''
* ''VideoGame/{{Lineage 2}}'' (used to be pay, now free to play)
* ''VideoGame/{{Lunia}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsOnline'' (used to be pay, now free to play)
* ''VideoGame/TheManaWorld'' (free, open source, on GPL)
* ''VideoGame/TheMatrixOnline'' (cancelled in 2009)
* ''VideoGame/{{Mabinogi}}'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/MapleStory''
** ''VideoGame/MapleStoryITCG'' (discontinued)
* ''VideoGame/MarchOfWar''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelHeroes'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/{{Meridian59}}''
* ''VideoGame/MonkeyQuest''
* ''VideoGame/{{Navyfield}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Neverwinter}}'' (free to play)
* ''[[VideoGame/NeverwinterNightsAOL Neverwinter Nights]]'' (no, not the better-known 3D RPG, the original one; often considered the TropeMaker of the MMORPG genre.)
* ''[[VideoGame/NexusWar Nexus Clash]]'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/NexusWar'' (taken down in 2009 and revived as ''Nexus Clash'')
* ''VideoGame/{{Neocron}}''
* ''VideoGame/NeoSteam''
* ''VideoGame/{{Onigiri}}''
* ''VideoGame/OppressiveGames'' (has ads, but is completely free)
* ''VideoGame/{{Otherspace}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Pangya}} PangYa/Albatross18]]''
* ''{{VideoGame/Pardus}}''
* ''VideoGame/PerfectWorld'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'' and one of the first to be a console MMORPG
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2''
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarUniverse''
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarZero''
* ''VideoGame/{{Pirate101}}''
* ''VideoGame/PiratesOfTheBurningSea''
* ''VideoGame/PlaneShift''
* ''Videogame/PlanetSide'' (MMOFPS)
** ''[=Videogame/PlanetSide 2=]'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/PockieNinja'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/PuzzlePirates''
* ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline'' (used to be pay, now free to play)
* ''[[VideoGame/RagnarokIITheGateOfTheWorld Ragnarok II: The Gate of the World]]''
* ''[[VideoGame/RagnarokIILegendOfTheSecond Ragnarok II: Legend of the Second]]''
* ''{{VideoGame/Rappelz}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheRealmOnline'' (originally launched as ''Sierra's The Realm'')
* ''VideoGame/RealmsOfKaos''
* ''VideoGame/{{Requiem}}''
* ''VideoGame/RetroMud''
* ''VideoGame/RemnantsOfSkystone'' (free to play, subscribe for better abilities and ...stuff. Abandoned by the developers around 2011, shut down in 2014.)
* ''VideoGame/RFOnline''
* ''VideoGame/{{Rift}}''
* ''VideoGame/RohanOnline'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/ROSEOnline'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/RustyHearts'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/RunesOfMagic'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/{{Ryzom}}''
* ''{{VideoGame/Salem}}'': The Crafting MMO (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/ScarletBlade''
* ''VideoGame/SDGundamCapsuleFighter''
* ''VideoGame/SealOnline''
* ''VideoGame/SecondhandLands''
* ''VideoGame/SecondLife''
* ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld''
* ''{{VideoGame/Shaiya}}'' (fantasy MMORPG)
* ''VideoGame/ShatteredGalaxy''
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiImagine''
* ''VideoGame/{{Shintolin}}''
* ''VideoGame/ShipOfHeroes'' (in development)
* ''VideoGame/ShoresOfHazeron'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/TheSimsOnline'' (defunct)
* ''Videogame/{{Skyforge}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Skyrates}}''
* ''VideoGame/SpiralKnights''
* ''VideoGame/StarCitizen''
* ''VideoGame/StarPirates''
* ''VideoGame/StarStables'' (free to play in beginner areas; pay to play higher levels)
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' (used to be pay, now free to play)
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsCombine''
* ''TabletopGame/SwordGirls''
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsGalaxies''
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''
* ''VideoGame/SuperHeroSquadOnline'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/{{Swordsman}}''
* ''VideoGame/TabulaRasa'' (defunct as of March 2009)
* ''VideoGame/{{TERA}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Tibia}}''
* ''VideoGame/TigerKnightEmpireWar''
* ''VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorial Online'' (Taken down in 2007).
* ''VideoGame/ToontownOnline'' (Defunct as of September 2013, but has some private servers such as ''Toontown Rewritten.'')
* ''VideoGame/TornCity''
* ''VideoGame/TreeOfSavior''
* ''VideoGame/TricksterOnline'' (Defunct as of February 2013)
* ''VideoGame/TrueFantasyLiveOnline''
* ''VideoGame/{{Trove}}'' (Free to Play)
* ''VideoGame/TwilightHeroes'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/UltimaOnline''
* ''VideoGame/UnchartedWatersOnline''
* ''VideoGame/{{UCGO}}'' (Taken down in 2007, however it was revived!)
* ''VideoGame/UrbanDead''
* ''VideoGame/UrbanGalaxy'' (Free to play)
* ''VideoGame/UrbanRivals''
* ''VideoGame/VendettaOnline''
* ''{{VideoGame/Vindictus}}'' (free to play)
* ''VideoGame/VirtualFamilyKingdom''
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' (Free to play MMOTPS)
* ''VideoGame/Warhammer40000EternalCrusade''
* ''VideoGame/WarhammerOnline''
* ''VideoGame/{{Warthunder}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Webkinz}}''
* ''VideoGame/WildStar''
* ''VideoGame/{{Wizard 101}}''
* ''VideoGame/WolfTeam'' (MMOFPS)
* ''VideoGame/WonderKing''
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' (the second TropeCodifier, Popularized the concept)
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfTanks''
** ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarplanes''
** ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarships''
* ''VideoGame/WorldWarIIOnline'' (Widely regarded as the first true MMOFPS)
* ''Videogame/WurmOnline'' (Freemium)
* ''VideoGame/{{Yogurting}}''

!!Fictional examples


[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* "The World" from the ''Franchise/DotHack'' anime, manga, and games.
** {{Defictionalized}} at one point in Japan (under the name Fragment, the name of The World's beta version), but it flopped hard and wasn't released anywhere else.
** Fragment (The real world one) wasn't as much an MMO as it was the first four games repackaged with an online mode. You could choose one of the pre-existing character models or a recolor and that was the extent of customzation outside class choice. The dungeons had to be made by players and were stored on their PC. There was an offline mode which was mostly the first four games with your "Custom" character replacing Kite and Rena and Shugo added as extras.
* A version appears in the ''Anime/LuckyStar'' OVA. And it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhjhjVpaAVk looks awesome!]]
* "Mythic Quest" in obscure doujinshi series ''Mythic Quest''.
* One episode of Manga/{{Chobits}} involves the main cast enjoying their time with a free trial of an MMO. They come across a boss that is said to be impossible to beat, [[spoiler: but Chi hacks the game and makes it possible to beat it. None of them are aware of how this happened]], and Hideki decides that playing MMO's wouldn't be healthy for him or his budget anyway.
* ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' is notable for featuring several advanced virtual reality MMO games, one per major plot arc. The first one has the players [[InsideAComputerSystem trapped in it]] until [[WinToExit they beat the final boss]], or die... [[TheMostDangerousVideoGame which kills them in real life too.]] The subsequent arcs get rid of this and show the players' life both online and offline; the plots spawn both worlds and the dichotomy between players and their characters becomes a major plot element.
* In a few episodes of ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'', Sato becomes addicted to an MMO game called ''Ultimate Fantasy''. It makes him even more of a loser than he already is, and he becomes totally detached from reality, until his best friend snaps him out of it.
* ''LightNovel/OnlySenseOnline'' features a virtual reality fantasy MMO of the same name and the series revolves around one beginner player and his (mis)adventures in the game.
* ''Elder Tale'', a long-running fantasy RPG set in a post-apocalyptic Earth, gets a new game update as all logged-in players suddenly experience TheGameComeToLife in the light novel/anime ''LogHorizon''.
* As ''Yggdrasil'', a long-running immersive fantasy MMO closes down for good, a player by the character name Momonga, the guild leader, decides to stay online. But he's unexpectedly awakes [[TheGameComeToLife inside a new reality of the castle of his guild's own making]], with NPC attendants now alive, in the light novel/anime ''LightNovel/{{Overlord 2012}}''.
* Fafnir from ''Manga/MissKobayashisDragonMaid'' ends up getting addicted to [=MMOs=] after coming to Earth (since they appeal to his love of killing and hoarding valuables), to the point that he spends up to 21 hours ''[[TheSleepless per day]]'' playing.
* ''Manga/RecoveryOfAnMMOJunkie'', as the title indicates, deals with a NEET who spends most of her time playing the MMORPG ''Fruits de Mer'' along with her companions.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* ''ComicStrip/{{Foxtrot}}'' has a MMORPG called [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft World of War]][[VideoGame/EverQuest quest]]. It's a very-thinly disguised ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', which author [[OneOfUs Bill Amend plays]]. For example, one series of strips revolved around Jason's efforts to get the "Kingsquisher" title; in World of Warcraft, you earn the title "Kingslayer" by killing the Lich King (the Expansion 2 BigBad).
** One Foxtrot comic featured a rare and powerful ''World of Warquest'' weapon named "Doomulus Prime." An actual quest reward mace named Doomulus Prime was later [[{{Defictionalization}} added to the real]] World of Warcraft game.
* ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' has "World of Hackcraft", the MMORPG spin off of the "Hackmaster" TableTopRPG.


[[folder: Fan Fic ]]

* The plot of ''FanFic/FriendshipIsOptimal'' involves the release of ''Equestria Online'', and later players [[BrainUploading uploading]] [[InsideAComputerSystem themselves]] to live in the virtual world.
* Major spoiler ahead: At the end of the first part of ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone'', The Soft World, [[spoiler: the Pyar gods' reboot of C'hou turns out to be a virtual telepathic MMORPG designed and overseen by Jeft Indle, one of the two [[BigBad Big Bads]] of ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. 20,000 players, at least 50,000 �Natives,� and uncounted numbers of AI personalities; hundreds of Towns and Cities of Adventure with plenty of comforts and mundane entertainments as well as adventures; endless dungeons, ruins, monsters, quests, and other exciting RPG stuff; reality mimicking down to the atomic level; and an overarching theme of Good vs. Evil, with endless scheming and sniping between the players as they struggle to obtain the pieces of the Nine-part Key to the Black Tower, make it a gamer's paradise. Not so much for the four, though, who are there ''quite'' unwillingly.]]


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The Creator/PiersAnthony novel ''{{Killobyte}}'' is about just such a game, in CyberSpace.
** His novel ''Literature/{{Steppe}}'' features a protagonist who is thrust into a ''live'' MMORPG, where players act out their roles in a historical setting, dropping out of the Game when they are "killed" and re-entering if they can afford to buy new parts. Although originally written in 1972, ''Steppe'' foresaw many of the conventions of the MMO as we know them.
* The {{Metaverse}} from the Neal Stephenson novel ''Literature/SnowCrash''.
* ''Literature/HaltingState'' by Creator/CharlesStross is about a ''bank robbery'' in a MMORPG.
* ''Literature/HalfPrince'' Has Second Life as a fantasy MMORPG, a shooter that appears in one chapter, and others mentioned.
* ''Literature/{{Otherland}}'' describes a [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture future]] Internet that is composed of interactive virtual reality environments, so the entire thing is essentially an MMO writ large. More specifically, the "Middle Kingdom" is an extremely popular VR fantasy MMORPG, and several of the environments of the titular Otherland network are designed to mimic game or fantasy worlds, with visitors directly inhabiting the avatars of characters in the simulation.
* ''Literature/{{Mogworld}}'' [[spoiler:[[ItWasHisSled is set in one.]]]]
* ''T'Rain'' in ''Literature/{{REAMDE}}'', specifically designed with [[RealMoneyTrade gold farming]] as a core gameplay from the ground up (it helps that the author of the idea used to be a drug smuggler and money launderer). It also notably uses RealLife geological algorithms to generate the terrain (hence the name of the fictional world). Additionally, characters have "bot-haviors", automated actions performed by them while the player is logged out, which depends on the type of character (e.g. a warrior trains, a miner mines).
* Creator/VernorVinge has a couple of examples:
** The Other Plane, from his groundbreaking novella, "Literature/TrueNames", is an extremely early (1981) example, almost predating the IBM PC.
** In ''Literature/RainbowsEnd'', the development of wearable computers with contact-lens displays and gesture-based input has made these even more common and popular than they are today. People can and do play them on the streets, while traveling to work or school.
* ''Literature/ReadyPlayerOne'' has ''OASIS'', which is a cross between this trope and CyberSpace (partly because logging in involves using VR goggles and haptic gloves). Given that the novel takes place in a PostPeakOil CrapsackWorld, a great number of people across the world tend to spend much of their time in ''OASIS''. In fact, there are schools and universities in ''OASIS'', which are at least as good as those in reality.


[[folder: Manhwa ]]

* ''Manhwa/{{Yureka}}'' Has Lost Saga and mentions of two "earlier" games.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''Videogame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'', [[spoiler:the plot twist is the universe is an MMORPG for higher dimensional beings]].
* ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' has the ever popular Burger Quest.
* The aforementioned ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2'' also has an ''in-story'' version of ''Phantasy Star Online 2'', which coexists with the universe the game itself is set in. [[MindScrew Try to wrap your head around that one.]]


[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* ''VisualNovel/REAlistair'' begins in the fictional MMO Rivenwell Online, and the story begins due to an in-game incident. [[spoiler: All three [[DatingSim dateable boys]] play the same MMO.]]


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/ElfOnlyInn'' is an example of a webcomic set inside an MMORPG. Though it was formerly set in a chat room, it moved its entire cast into a new MMORPG, and while they do have outside lives, we don't hear about them too often.
* In the webcomic ''[[http://www.bitmapworld.com/smcomic.cgi?a=64 BitmapWorld,]]'' the teenage characters from the strip play an MMORPG called ''Cosmic Dungeon.'' The ''Cosmic Dungeon'' strips are almost a comic-within-a-comic.
* The ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' story arc "Years of Yarncraft" is all about spoofing [=MMORPGs=] (though the strip calls them [=MMORGYPOOs=]: Massively Multiplayer Organized Roleplaying Game Yarn Providing Outward Obnoxiousness). Most of it focuses on a ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' style game, but a bass fishing MMORGYPOO is briefly featured as well.
* "Clichequest" from ''Webcomic/TheNoob'' which satirizes [=MMORPGs=].
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' features ''Endgames'', a MedievalEuropeanFantasy MMORPG that Piro, Largo and Miho all played at one point. The game, along with standard statistics like "Strength", "Magic" and so forth, had hidden "Emotional Statistics" built into the player characters to [[CharacterDevelopment add depth]]. [[spoiler:Miho cheated by [[ManipulativeBastard manipulating the Emotional Statistics]] of a vast number of other player characters, bringing them under her control via statistical MoreThanMindControl. Piro was too in-tune with his character's Emotional Statistics for her to be able to manipulate them, and Largo's character ignored them completely]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Sarab}}'' has the [=nelPLAY=], a fantasy MMORPG.
* ''Webcomic/{{Magience}}'' is about a MMORPG that may be more than a game.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* The ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' has [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-896 SCP-896]], an MMORPG where, if the player uses their own name as the avatar, their stats in real life will start corresponding to that in the game. For example, increasing strength would cause the player in real life to become stronger, stamina would make them more durable, etc.
* ''Website/TheOnion'' parodied ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' in a video about an MMORPG that lets the gamer play a gamer playing ''World of Warcraft''.
* The entire series ''WebVideo/TheGuild'' is about a group of MMO gamers playing an unnamed ''World of Warcraft'' clone. Except they're rarely shown ''playing'' it...
** A recent episode reveals the game they've been referring to as "the game" is actually titled ''The Game''.
* ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'' has ''Horizon'', in which most of the action happens.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' episode "Virt-U-Ron" revolved around a fictional MMORPG called "Everlot" (the title likely being a mish-mash of ''[=EverQuest=]'' and ''Dark Ages of Camelot'').
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' was the focus of the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft", as the boys tried to deal with an overpowered "griefer" who kept killing everyone else's characters and threatened to bring about the end of the world... of Warcraft. Cites "HelloKitty Island Adventure" as a major rival to [=WoW=].
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'': Steve and his friends were fans of an MMORPG named ''Dragonscuffle'' in "Dungeons and Wagons". Hayley, wanting to talk to Jeff after dumping him, used her account to bring Steve's recently-killed character back to life. He wanted to be her boyfriend again, but she'd already found someone while playing the game.
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' had ''"Doomed"'', which was [[JustOneMoreLevel so addictive that Danny was able to play it from evening until morning without realizing it.]]
* Bart dominated ''Earthland Realms'' on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', which was basically a bloodthirsty (bloodthirstier?) [[HeroicFantasy Medieval Fantasy]] version of Springfield. At one point, Marge, being the loving mother she was, bought him some items in the form of a HelloKitty expansion pack.