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The Daily Grind: Should there be a spectator feature in MMOs?


Videogames as a spectator sport has always been with us -- you'll be in an arcade, or at a friend's house, or watching with hundreds of others at a sanctioned Starcraft tournament. Someone will challenge another to a game, the competition heats up, a crowd gathers. Sometimes the end-game victory is so close that when the last-ditch play succeeds (or fails), the winner is granted a standing ovation. In such a case, it's just as fun to watch as it is to play.

Aside from watching over someone's shoulder, what if there were a way to observe a head-to-head match-up between players in your favorite MMO? Perhaps a central location on the Web which you could visit to watch pre-planned battles? Maybe a program that lets you peek into a game world as though you were an invisible camera, recording for posterity matches between registered combatants -- would that be welcome? Would it ruin the sense of in-world immersion?

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