Massive(ly) multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) is a genre of online role-playing video games (RPGs) in which a large number of players interact with one another in a virtual world.
As in all RPGs, players assume the role of a fictional character (most commonly in a fantasy setting) and take control over many of that character's actions. MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player RPGs by the number of players, and by the game's persistent world, usually hosted by the game's publisher, which continues to exist and evolve while the player is away from the game.
MMORPGs are very popular throughout the world, with combined global memberships in subscription and non-subscription games exceeding 15 million as of 2006. Worldwide revenues for MMORPGs exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005, and Western revenues exceeded one billion USD in 2006.

I think MMORPGs are very interesting for English Language learning primarily because of the gaming communities and forums that develop around each game. A gaming community consists of players who wish to establish goals, rules, support and an information network and the size of these communities can vary from a few friends to thousands of members. Gaming communities will almost without exception have forums where anything from tactics to the best gamers in that community to off topic chat. Often the forum regulars do not play the game or games in question, they just enjoy the sense of community created by it. The 'lingua franca' on these forums is English even though a vast numbers of contributors do notappear to be native English speakers.

Gaming forums thus become platforms for many non-native English speaking gamers to communicate with similar minded gamers through written English text. Learners can be encouraged to contribute in these communities by teachers with the aim of developing language skills asociated with writing and reading. If this is done in class time, with access to computers, the teachers role becomes that of a language facilitator.