Tabletop RPGs are pretty much directly responsible for the invention of MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) RPGS; and most of the early MMO games show this very clearly. Games like Ultima Online and EverQuest have some pretty obvious tabletop RPG influences (an article in an old Inquest Gaming magazine I had actually said EverQuest was like playing D&D online), and after Gary Gygax passed away, Blizzard Entertainment – the creators of World of Warcraft (WoW) – included a dedication to Gary in one of their patches; and paid homage to the inspirations that they (the creators) gained from traditional RPGs. Several Warcraft Roleplaying Game books have been published by Sword & Sorcery, including the campaign setting and some sourcebooks.
However, those of us who play traditional roleplaying games will often scoff at these online games for their differences. Many complain that they "aren't real RPGs", or use "MMO/WoW" as a derogatory term when describing RPGs. This has been most prevalent in internet forums where people complain that 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons is "Too much like WoW" or similar statements. In short, a lot of people think that the two sub-genres of RPGs are pretty incompatible. Let's face it...some of us hobbyists can get a bit anal about things.
But what are we missing that the genres can share with one-another? There's a lot of new ideas that are developed in both fields, and to ignore some of the more innovative concepts in various games, because of their genres, can mean that we're all missing out on things that could indeed be incredibly fun.
Next post dives a bit deeper into the subject with some mechanical stuff. ☺