Surveillance and invasion of privacy in MMOs

Select Parks has a questionnaire going about surveilance in MMOs. It’s an interesting dilemma. You quickly forget that your every action is being watched and recorded while playing. But I’m wondering if christo might have misunderstood something – if not, I certainly have. In the comments about ‘Game administrators monitoring players’ christo writes:

“The ability of MMO game administrators to monitor and record player
interactions out-strips any type of surveillance occurring within the
real-world. All movements, actions and conversations can be permanently
recorded and archived for later retrieval. Some MMOs use this data to help
suspend player accounts when end user license agreements are broken. For
example, if one player continually harasses another, administrators can sift
through conversation and proximity data to prove an offence has taken
place. Game companies also mine user data to help review and enhance the
game’s structure and playability”

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"Girl things" in games

Granted, I really don’t have time to focus on blogging at the moment, so excuse me if I’ve misunderstood this completely! I just….I just couldn’t let this pass by without adding some comments. I’m confused, terrified and well…just a tad insulted, to be honest.

Edward Castronova’s latest Terra Nova post examines one of the ‘theories’ introduced at Ludium 1. Uhm…from what I can gather The Koithuo team proposed a way of looking at ‘the evolutionary theory of human gender differences’ and implementing this as a test into games, using Steen’s ‘girl game modes’ which say “that women will be interested in a) games about rating men’s prowess (The Yenta Game”), choosing men to connect with (“The Marriage Game”), and getting men to stay committed to them (“The Newlywed Game”).”

Now…it seems the crew at A Tale in the Desert have implemented a game in their world to test these theories. Which I completely concur with Castronova when he writes that:

“Regardless of whether you agree with Steen’s theories or not, the exciting thing here is that we get to see them tested, at the level of an entire society. It’s not just a theoretical/political debate any more. We’re getting some information.”

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