I've never really been a fan of Massive Multiplayer Online games. I'd almost never heard of all the old Counterstrike and Unreal Tournament gameplay, although I had a couple friends who played. When Ultima Online first came out, it was the first MMO RPG I'd ever heard of, and I was interested for a bit, but after watching a friend play for a while, I lost interest. Why, you ask?
Firstly, when you play an online RPG, you're not the hero, not the center of attention. If I play oldies like Bards' Tale or Ultima V, or even newer games like Dragon Quest VIII or Oblivion, my character is the hero - the focus of attention. But when you play World of Warcraft, the world is populated almost entirely by paladins and clerics and wizards. These heroes should be a small percentage of the population. It is a strange and surreal world in which the adventurers make up the majority of the world's populace and the shopkeepers, farmers, and children are a minority. When everyone is a hero, being a hero becomes meaningless. You're just one of the crowd. What fun is that?
There's also the fact that it seems that everyone who plays online shooters is a total jerk, and will often use profane and racist language. And you've probably heard of chocolate milk boy, the kid who was screaming at his mom to bring him chocolate milk while playing XBox live.
The degree to which people get into these games amazes me. I recently read an article about Korean players trying to kill all Chinese players on their server in a bizarre kind of virtual genocide. It really is surreal. Gold farming has become such an amazingly lucrative trade that entire companies have been founded to sell virtual goods.
Yup, I've got no interest in multiplayer online gaming. Except maybe for Dungeon Keeper or Starcraft with some of my friends from back in Connecticut.