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The Daily Grind: Does founder's syndrome hurt MMOs?


Founder's syndrome -- defined by Wikipedia as "a difficulty faced by many organizations where one or more founders maintain disproportionate power and influence following the effective initial establishment of the project" -- is not limited to just organizations. Sandbox gamers might recognize it as something that can affect their virtual worlds as well. For example, there's a long-standing debate among EVE Online fans as to whether or not it's possible for newcomers to ever truly catch up and compete on the same level as those who've been dominating the game and accruing money and power for over a decade. Sometimes, the people who get to the sandbox first keep control of all the toys.

Antique sandbox A Tale in the Desert attempted to dodge this problem by resetting the game in its entirety after each "tale" plays out. Veteran players might keep their network of contacts and their real-world knowledge of the game, but their in-game material wealth and characters must be started from scratch, allowing newcomers a better chance of competing with them. Of course, it might be hard for modern themepark fans to accept such a solution!

What do you think -- is founder's syndrome a problem in the MMOs you play? How would you solve the problem?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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