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Even though there are hundreds and thousands of MMOs spanning several decades, only a small handful were so incredibly influential that they changed the course of development for games from then on out. DikuMUD is one of these games, and it is responsible for more of what you experience in your cur...

January 3rd 2015 at 12:00pm 0 Comments
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In 1996, Richard Bartle published a study of MMO gamers that eventually led to his 2003 book Designing Virtual Worlds, which was at the time the de facto MMO genre's design bible. Of course, this was before World of Warcraft hit the scene, but many of the principles Bartle laid out still hold true....

December 16th 2014 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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A fascinating piece over on Eurogamer about MUD1 and Richard Bartle traces the history of the modern MMO back to this game and this man. Bartle said that he and his partner "wanted to change the world" with his game, although he says that the modern MMO has yet to reach its full potential. "I am...

October 30th 2014 at 4:00pm 0 Comments
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Free-to-play as a business model stirs a lot of passionate opinions in both gamers and developers. According to Richard Bartle, well-known gaming researcher and co-creator of the first MUD, free-to-play as a business model has a certain half-life and is going to hit a point when it's just not viab...

July 9th 2014 at 2:30pm 0 Comments
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MUD1, the first online virtual world, was originally released in 1978. Thirty-six years later, Stanford University Libraries has acquired the project's source code and has plans to provide public online access. Details are forthcoming, according to a university blog. MUD1 is a text-based multi-use...

April 29th 2014 at 2:00pm 0 Comments
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The end of the year is nigh, and as I promised, I will give you my final thoughts on Star Wars: The Old Republic and its achievements for 2013. I wanted my assessment to be based on something other than squishy feelings. Of course, opinions are extremely subjective, but that doesn't mean they canno...

December 31st 2013 at 1:00pm 0 Comments
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In July, I took the famous Bartle Test and pitted it against the state of Star Wars: The Old Republic at the time. The test, based on the research of Dr. Richard Bartle, measures the types of activities within an MMO that players find fun. Of course, there is plenty of crossover, and very few peopl...

December 17th 2013 at 5:00pm 0 Comments
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This past weekend, a friend of mine came up from Texas. Not only did we talk about our families and such, but we also spent some time talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic PvP. We have both been following the game about the same amount of time, and we are now in the same guild. I argued that P...

November 12th 2013 at 12:30pm 0 Comments
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In our last installment looking at PLATO, the educational computer network that linked a thousand terminals across the US together, I don't think I stressed enough how awesome this system was for the time. In the 1970s, most universities had computers that required punch cards for input and spat ba...

August 17th 2013 at 12:00pm 0 Comments
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I will freely admit that I do not have all the answers. I also admit that I believe that BioWare is trying to change the face of PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic. But I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of the efforts so far have failed to the point that I said it would be more worthw...

July 30th 2013 at 5:00pm 0 Comments
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It's history lesson time. In 1996, Dr. Richard Bartle, who earned his PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Essex, wrote a paper analyzing the different types of gamers who play massively multiplayer games. At the time, these games mostly consisted of MUDs (a genre Bartle helped cre...

July 9th 2013 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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By now, everyone's probably heard the strange story of Manti Te'o, the football player who had an online relationship with someone who wasn't really that person. The question that people keep asking is whether or not he was in on the hoax, but I think that's irrelevant. The real question is why p...

January 23rd 2013 at 11:00am 0 Comments