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“Meuporg” is an erroneous pronunciation of the English initialism MMORPG, which stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.
The mispronunciation of MMORPG as “Meuporg” was first quoted by French TV journalist Nathanaël de Rincquesen in a France 2 news report about the concerns of video game addiction, particularly with popular MMORPGs such as Ultima Online and World of Warcraft. Unaware of its conventional pronunciation, Rincquesen misread the term as a single word, as in “Meuporg,” and later misspelled the initialism as “MMMPORPG” during the broadcast, rendering himself highly exploitable to the French audiences and video game fans on the web (shown below).
On March 18th, 2010, shortly after the airing of the news program, YouTuber Blakkos uploaded a clip of the segment. The video gained more than 215,000 views in the first two weeks.
In the following days, Rincquesen’s gaffe inspired a number of websites including a Facebook page on March 22nd and the parody site Meuporg.com on March 23rd. Meanwhile, intense discussions and debates regarding the proper pronunciation ensued on gaming-related blogs and forum communities, such as France 2’s own discussion forum and Wikipedia’s discussion page for the entry on “Meuporg”. Soon, French news outlets began to pick up on Rincquesen’s gaffe and the online reaction. On March 31st, French news site Le Post reported on the online phenomenon and on April 6th, it published an interview with Nathanaël de Rincquesen. As search interest in “Meuporg” continued to rise, even France 2 reportedly purchased Google ads that linked to the clip of the news report in search results page (shown below).
Online interest in “Meuporg” resurged again in August 2010, when the it was reiterated in an episode of France 3’s TV soap opera “Plus Belle La Vie” by a female character who takes revenge on a player of an imaginary MMORPG called Graal Quest for hacking into her relative’s computer. However, as she is about to erase all of his characters from the account, she refers to the game as a “Morpeug” (shown below). This episode was also widely reported in the French mainstream media and gaming-related blogs like Clubic, Ecrans, Koreus, Tom’s Guide and GameBlog, not to mention a second wave of parodies that followed on YouTube.