Take a look at how irc networks work.
I agree that it's an interesting systems design example, and looking at how it grew from the first implementation in the 80s is another interesting case study.
But IRC is not a good architecture for games, for the same reason you said: latency is not a goal there.
It's worth looking into how others solved problems, even outside of the games industry
This is also a reasonable statement, but with some caveats. A lot of companies and individuals in other industries have over the years come in, and thought "we're the best in our industry at doing X, and games seem like they do a lot of X, so our solution will totally rule games!"
That seldom ends well. Doesn't matter if it's physical simulation, networking, visualization, stock trading, media serving, or whatever -- the evolutionary pressures in the game industry are very different from the evolutionary pressures in most other industries.