Leeroy.wmv – a glimpse of the future

August 24th, 2005 by

Leeroy.wmv is a digital video file encoded in Windows Media format. It depicts a group of characters in the multi-player online fantasy game World of Warcraft planning an assault on a crypt full of monsters. You can hear the players’ actual voices discussing the strategy they will use to pilot their avatars in the coming battle. The situation takes a humorous turn (surely the reason the file is being passed around the web) but I found it a profoundly candid glimpse into the world of online gaming.

The communities developing around MMORPG / Virtual World gaming are rapidly becoming as sophisticated as the “real world” communities in which humans traditionally participate. Complete with friendship, commerce, art, and sport, these communities deliver much of what was promised by early text-mediated virtual worlds such as HoloMUCK at the start of the 1990’s. A decade of practice with metaphysical social interaction through email and IM has made today’s users much more comfortable traversing the boundaries to virtual worlds.

The questions raised by this technology are fascinating and endless. The most popular games are closed software owned by private companies. To make an offline comparison: in the World of Warcraft, gravity is a trade secret.

For a quick introduction, take a glimpse at the plight of Leeroy and Co., skim the Wikipedia MMORPG entry and read the curious 10 Ways MMORPGs Will Change the Future. You may also try a game for free such as the Java-based RuneScape or the open-source Daimonin.

48 Responses to “Leeroy.wmv – a glimpse of the future”

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    Here’s a site dedicated to leeroy – http://www.leeroyjenkins.net – lotsa videos, wavs and a soundboard.

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    I cannot say how much I love this MMO, playing it is just pure awesomnes! It is not one game that is better than this game! Dont belive me?! Check the game on your own!

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