It seems it was long time ago. A bunch of friends spending hours on end playing RPG games, sitting around the table with the box of cold pizza. Excited about the story, listening to the Game Master, they were completely engaged in the worlds only visible to them and their imaginations.
The GM is the programmer, and in MMOs and co-ops, you can play with others. If you want to ONLY use your imagination for the visuals, read a book.