Computer games can be said to have entered the mainstream. With revenue that rivals that of cinema receipts, computer games are serious business, no longer relegated to the sidelines.

    The internet is often credited with driving the progression of gaming into the mainstream. Yet the MMORPG, which would not exist without the internet, is stuck firmly in the sidelines. Besides Japan and Korea, MMORPGs are barely noticed, and this is not surprising. The number of players is pitifully small when compared with the industry as a whole. Everquest, which is regarded as a success, has a little over 500,000 players around the world. This equates to some serious monthly revenue for Sony, but those half a million players represent only a tiny proportion of gamers.

    In my opinion, the main cause of this niche performance can be put down to the fact that these games are simply not very compelling. You might be surprised at this statement, but the fact is that most games players aren

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