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The MMO industry has lately focused on niche titles, niche communities, niche gameplay. It's not one particular niche, mind you. It's lots of different niches, all being catered to in different titles: PvPers, sadistic gankers, raiders, dungeoners, roleplayers, crafters, explorers, achievers, soloe...

7 months ago 0 Comments
November 14, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Last month, the long-running, scholarly virtual world blog Terra Nova updated with a post suggesting that the blog, like the worlds it covered, might be coming to an end (the blog, at least, has been saved in the interim). Founder Dr Edward Castronova argued that virtual worlds and MMOs have seen a...

8 months ago 0 Comments
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It's been almost a week since we first heard about the layoffs at Trion, yet there are still more questions than answers about the depth and scope of them. How many people were let go? Were they all from the RIFT team? And why was it timed just a few months after the expansion launched? It's hard...

2 years ago 0 Comments
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Virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online games have truly evolved over the past several years. It wasn't so long ago that incorporating virtual economies into games was a new idea. Nor was it so long ago that we were overwhelmed at the depth that was possible in massively multiplayer online g...

6 years ago 0 Comments
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Although many western MMO gamers profess a distaste for all things RMT, it's definitely become an aspect of these games and virtual worlds that we're all aware of to some degree. But it wasn't always that way. In fact, it wasn't so long ago that the notion of people working in virtual settings and ...

6 years ago 0 Comments
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A recent post over at the Terra Nova blog is the inspiration for today's The Daily Grind. In that post, Rutgers Law Professor Greg Lastowka observes that some MMO players and virtual world residents refer to their avatar as "I", while others refer to it as a he, she, or even it. Many people form so...

6 years ago 0 Comments
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The relative complexity of MMOs in comparison with more standard PC and console titles is a major draw for many of us. We like the crafting systems, the economic underpinnings, and many of the other trappings of massively multiplayer online titles. Complexity can be a core strength of a solid MMO t...

6 years ago 0 Comments
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Given the drastic real world economic shifts of late, is it unreasonable to assume that there will be repercussions in virtual worlds and MMOs? That's the gist of a question posed by CBBC, a longtime commentator at the Terra Nova blog, but specifically he asks: "What now for virtual economies? What ...

6 years ago 0 Comments
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The Terra Nova blog is known for its in-depth views on virtual worlds and MMOs, with an academic bent. Contributor Nate Combs has provided insightful commentary on EVE Online for Terra Nova in the past, and recently continued on that track by stating, "I wonder whether an MMORPG can have a political...

6 years ago 0 Comments
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EverQuest, World of Warcraft, The Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online and many other MMOs all have one important thing in common. Well, okay; they have a lot of things in common -- like about 85% or more of their gameplay mechanics. But the main thing -- indeed, the reason why...

6 years ago 0 Comments
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Terra Nova put a quick post up about putting the Blizzard vs. WoW Glider case (and the Public Knowledge amicus brief) in the larger context of whether or not End User License Agreements are "good" or "bad," but even better than the post is the comments section. Lots of MMO heavies, including Richard...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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The Terra Nova site views virtual worlds and massively multiplayer gaming through the lens of academia. Don't hold that against them, though; the insights of commentators like Richard Bartle, Ren Reynolds, Edward Castronova, and Timothy Burke make for some darned interesting reading. This week Mr. B...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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EVE Online is a game where collective action trumps individual action. It's certainly a game that can be played solo although nowhere near as effectively as when your main's activities are supported or enabled by an alt. CCP provides 3 character slots per account, but skillpoint training can only ...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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Last year, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown commissioned the Department of Children, Schools, and Families to write a report on, among other things, the potentially harmful effects of the internet and video games on children and young people. Many harbored fears, based on past precedent, that this rep...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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Everyone generally takes real world testing seriously, because if they don't there's always a person there in the flesh to scold them properly. However, when any testing takes place in the virtual space such as Second Life (or any MMO really), the problem of people goofing around and lying becomes ...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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Over the years, most of us have grown accustomed to the typical avatar gestures... /wave, /kiss, /kneel, and the like. Even some of the more outlandish emotes have their place, like /robot or /rude. Of course, this kind of thinking is not out of the box! Since most people labor under the assumptio...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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Over the past couple of weeks the MMO blogosphere has once again been discussing the ever-pertinent question of "Why fantasy?" in regards to the MMO and its heritage; MUDs and tabletop gaming. The subject has been covered quite well from many different points of view and opinions, none of which ar...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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At the academic blog Terra Nova, commentator Nate Combs has a lengthy look at the inherent 'culture of mistrust' that exists in EVE Online. Due to the game's somewhat harsh environment (compared with most MMOGs), it's in the best interests of a given player to distrust others ... and yet most of the...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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Nate Combs over at Terra Nova has another piece up in his PvP series, this time about EVE Online and the "asymmetry of PvP." In a game like World of Warcraft, the devs have said that they're aiming to keep players as equal-- if you take on another player at your level with your level of gear, you've...

7 years ago 0 Comments
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Terra Nova is rethinking the conclusions the BBC made a while back about using WoW to study the spread of diseases. If you recall the article stated that player's reactions to the spread of Hakkar's Corrupted Blood was an excellent research tool for how epidemics spread in the real world. Not so s...

7 years ago 0 Comments