Game talkUCSD virtual worlds event Feb 8th

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Jan 312007

Here’s the email announcement — this is at U Cal San Diego, btw. I’ll be there on stage at some point.

Serious Play: MMO gaming, real money, and social worlds A Discussion

Thursday, February 8, 2007, 4-6:30pm
Atkinson Hall, Auditorium

Featured Speaker:

Julian Dibbell (author of Play Money and My Tiny Life) “Play Money: Gold Farms, Polar Bear Rugs, and the World-Historical Relevance of Game Studies”

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Game talkEntropia ATM cards go away

 Posted by (Visited 7042 times)  Game talk
Jan 312007

VirtualWorldlets is reporting that the bank that provided the service has been dropped from the larger MasterCard network. Therefore, Entropia can’t use them as an ATM provider anymore. The reason?

MasterCard’s action came after the New York Community Credit Union and the card provider, CardOne Plus, had a series of run-ins with a regulatory body, the Financial Institutions Commission of British Columbia, which, in its fourth and last action, a penalty order, called North York a “rogue financial institution” having “shown complete disregard for the laws of British Columbia.”

According to the article, MindArk is in talks with another bank to get up and running with the ATM cards again.

Game talkA clash of models

 Posted by (Visited 9290 times)  Game talk
Jan 302007 reports that a Second Life server emu is out there, raising the question of what the world looks like when there’s multiple servers to log into. There’s already been some discussion of what happens to the current Linden business model on the day that there’s lots of hosting choices — sort of like a much more sober version of the issues that arose after the CopyBot scandal.

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Game talkEven Russia gets real life PKing

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Jan 302007

The Moscow Times reports that a Virtual Conflict Ends in Real Death, as a leading Lineage II player allegedly stomps another to death. Ironically, the person who died was trying to break up the fight, which started because the two player clans were rivals or something.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, of course, though it’s the first time I’ve seen it reported in Russia. There have been Korean and Chinese cases previously. I guess it’s spreading.

It’s going to be interesting over the next few years to watch good and bad press about virtual worlds try to outrace each other in different territories.

MiscFull text feeds are back

 Posted by (Visited 5654 times)  Misc
Jan 302007

Apologies for their disappearance — turns out it’s a changed behavior in WordPress 2.1, changing the “more” tag to affect feeds as well as the front page.

I installed this fix and it seems to be correct now.

Game talkNext gen community relations

 Posted by (Visited 9942 times)  Game talk
Jan 302007

I’m with Tide’s Horizon on this one — it’s about time that more developers embraced the web the way LOTRO plans to.

More interesting is that the game is going to support extensive and complex community functions that twine with the actual gameplay. A Google Maps version of Middle-earth will be accessible to subscribers. Each character you create will get his or her own page on the game’s official website, and you’ll be able to blog it. Minigames on the website will affect your real progression in (currently unspecified) ways. The site will also feature an online Wiki encyclopedia of info about the LOTR Online universe. All in all, it sounds like a very robust package of community tools.

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Game talkMUD-Dev archives not lost forever

 Posted by (Visited 5923 times)  Game talk
Jan 302007

Richard Tew, member of the MUD-Dev2 mailing list, has helpfully posted up an archive of MUD-Dev messages. Alas, it only covers 1996-2000, so it is incomplete, but many of the peak years will be present.

The MUD-Dev archives have always been one of the best resources for online world designers — not just in the discussion, but also just because it seemed that whateverr you wanted to talk about had probably been discussed before. I used to make a habit of re-reading the archives every year, because gems would always pop out at me.

Jan 292007

Dani Bunten named to AIAS Hall of Fame – News at GameSpot

To this day, M.U.L.E. is my favorite game ever. I have a major soft spot for Seven Cities of Gold as well. I have both of them running in emulation on my phone, actually. I made the head of programming for the Sci-Fi Channel light up with glee when I showed him that.

I never got to meet Dani, alas. The first GDC event I went to was the one she had to cancel because she was ill. She passed away just a few months later.

I’ve lost count of how many times I have pitched “M.U.L.E. Online.” A lot.