“That core of the singularity is what is actually Second Life’s core
strength, and what keeps its users struggling through the level grind and the
broken client and the lack of governmental, er, Linden oversight. Because as a
social MMO, once you get past all the clutter and dross, SL actually works. I
can honestly say that nowhere else online have I argued about Islamic
fundamentalism at one in the morning while lounging in a pool with a half-naked
demon-thing. Much like how people played Ultima Online despite its rampant
peekay and endless bugs simply because it was the promise of something new,
people find the core of SL is actually the other players. That’s something
that’s difficult to break.”
Raph Koster writes about a new group that calls themselves “The Virtual Citizenship Association”. It’s a new group advocating virtual citizen ehm ‘rights’. In his blogpost he points out the relevant problems with their social contract – which I completely agree with – so I’m not going to bother repeating it all in my own words here – you should just read it – I can’t do his words justice here!
But entering the site – I was quite intrigued by how they define themselves:
“We’re a group of MMORPG professionals, people who enjoy playing in online universes in general and people who advocate the use of Free Software.”
I find that interesting. When I think of ‘MMORPG proffesionals’ I think of game operators and designers – not players, but it’s a relevant point! Why shouldn’t players be labeled as MMORPG professionals? I kinda like it – it tickled me!
As for what they’re advocating, I agree with Koster when he writes:
“I’d prefer any such social contract to focus more on how operators have to treat players, than on forcing particular business models on operators.”
And in case you don’t have the time to read the comments, I have to paste glorious Mr. Bartle’s comment – where would this industry be without his precious sense of humor?
“Why is it that these “players’ rights” advocates always target the virtual world developers and never the people who run guilds?
PS: Wouldn’t it be amusing if a virtual world developer banned membership of such organisations under its EULA?”