Start playing an online game @ the Internet

A lot of retired Farang and those who are younger who do not work have a lot of time on their hands, and let's face it you can't go to the pub everyday. So how to fill these hours? Well there's golf, there's shopping, there's watching TV, there's surfing the internet, but we all do so much of these already. So how about something new, interesting, strategic and sometimes exciting that will get the grey matter thinking hard again - how about playing a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG)?

There are so many to choose from I'm not sure where to start but I'll go with one of the biggest in terms of players/subscribers - World of Warcraft. With over seven million subscribers as of March 2014, World of Warcraft is currently the world's most-subscribed MMORPG. In the game a player controls a character avatar within a game world in third- or first-person view, exploring the landscape, fighting various monsters, completing quests, and interacting with non-player characters or other players.

Characters can choose from a variety of professions, such as tailoring, blacksmithing, or mining. Characters can learn four secondary skills: archaeology, cooking, fishing, and first-aid.

Much of World of Warcraft play involves the completion of quests. These quests, are usually available from non-player characters. Quests usually reward the player with some combination of experience points, items, and in-game money. Quests allow characters to gain access to new skills and abilities, and explore new areas. It is through quests that much of the game's story is told, both through the quest's text and through scripted non-player characters actions. Quests are linked by a common theme, with each consecutive quest triggered by the completion of the previous.

While a character can be played on its own, players can group with others to tackle more challenging content. Most end-game challenges are designed in a way that they can only be overcome while in a group. In this way, character classes are used in specific roles within a group.

World of Warcraft requires a subscription fee to be paid to allow continued play. Free trails are available online for those who want to try it out first before committing any hard earned cash.

For more details and to play for free check out:

If that sounds too bloody how about Second Life, where you create a completely different 'second life' for yourself - live in a castle, be an angel, open a shopping mall and sell anything you want - if you can imagine it, Second Life can make it a virtual reality right in front of your eyes.

Your Second Life avatars may take any form - human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or a combination thereof, or you may choose to resemble yourself as you are in real life. Avatar forms, like almost everything else in Second Life, can be either created by the user, or bought pre-made.

Avatars can travel via walking, running, vehicular access, flying or teleportation. Because Second Life is such a vast virtual world, teleportation is used when avatars wish to travel instantly and efficiently. Once they reach their destination, they may travel in more conventional means at various speeds.

There are many destinations within Second Life which are dedicated to those who enjoy role-playing. Some of these are targeted for adults, however there are also many which focus on other themes, such as fantasy, history, science fiction or other subjects. Many of these types of worlds have very specific sets of rules that each avatar who visits is expected to follow. Such rules can include things such as a dress code, and a code of behaviour.

Second Life has an internal economy and internal currency, the Linden dollar (L$). L$ can be used to buy, sell, rent or trade land or goods and services with other users. Virtual goods include buildings, vehicles, devices of all kinds, clothing, skin, hair, jewellry, flora and fauna, and works of art.

Even with it's own economy, only a relatively small number of players earn large amounts of money from the world. According to figures published by the games creators Linden Lab, about 64,000 users made a profit in Second Life in February 2009, of whom 38,524 made less than US$10, while 233 made more than US$5000. Profits are derived from selling virtual goods, renting land, and a broad range of services.

For more details and to play for free check out:

Or how about Travian, my personal favourite, the graphics are terrible - nothing even moves - but the gameplay is fantastic if you want to strategically build your empire to take on anyone and win the end game and be the overall champion.

An average game (about 300 games run concurrently with over 5 million players in total) at any one time has around 10,000 players and lasts about 10-11 months.

Travian is set in classical antiquity. Each player starts the game as the leader of a small, undeveloped village, surrounded by undeveloped resource fields. Developing these fields increases their resource output. The village can be developed by constructing new buildings and upgrading existing ones. Recruiting military units allows players to attack other villages to plunder resources, and defend from enemy attacks. Villages may trade their resources with other villages. The player may expand their realm by founding new villages, or by conquering other players' villages. Players may also join alliances for military and economic co-operation with other players.

There are three playable tribes; Romans, Gauls and Teutons. The player selects one of these three tribes during registration. Each tribe has different specialities. Romans have powerful troops which are expensive to train. Gauls have fast-moving troops with good defensive capabilities. Teutons are geared towards an aggressive style of play, and offer weak but cheap troops.

For more details and to play for free check out:

Give one of them a go if you've got the time, as with everything, different games will suit different people but we're all still young at heart so why not be a little childish and enjoy the pleasures of playing online games.

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