It has been over a year since my last review of a vintage virtual reality book. I’ve recently come across a good one that I’d like to share.
In 1978, Richard Bartle co-authored MUD, the very first virtual world. In 2003, he shared his twenty-five years of virtual world and MMORPG experience in the book Designing Virtual Worlds. Here are some excerpts from the preface:
Too much virtual world design is derivative. Designers take one or more existing systems as foundations on which to build, sparing little thought as to why these earlier worlds were constructed the way they were.
Are designers even aware that there are decisions they can unmake? Although a good deal of design is evolutionary, that does not mean designers can’t be revolutionary, too.
The key is in recognizing the face that what seems eminently logical to you from your usual perspective might turn out to be disastrous when viewed from another angle — and then realizing that the worlds you’re drawing inspiration from almost certainly contain elements designed by people who didn’t recognize that fact until it was too late.
Obviously, the preface resonated with me on the topic of metaverse design.
The book is an incredible seven hundred and fourty-one pages, filled with decades of experiences and observations in virtual worlds. According to Wikipedia, it has been called “the bible of MMORPG design”. Read More…
You may have seen my interest security issues in articles like The Metaverse and the Virtual Home, Representing unknown avatars in high traffic public spaces, and especially Griefing and the Metaverse. This isn’t by chance.
In addition to my day-to-day job, I am taking some graduate level computer security courses as part of my continuing education. I’ve been able to explore how these general computer security concepts apply to the Metaverse in interesting ways.
The academic year is finally coming to an end, and I need to buckle down and get some assignments turned in. I’ll be taking a week or two off to wrap those things up, and then I’ll be back to writing more articles.
I’m trying to decide if I want to talk more about the Virtual Home, or a proposal for the structure of a modern Metaverse. If I talk about a modern Metaverse, I’d probably want to lay some more groundwork first. Thoughts?
On another note, I received an old book in the mail today. $7.22 shipped. As always, I embed no referral code, and I claim no relationship to the book, author, publisher, or seller (other than having purchased the book).
I’ve only had time to skim over it today. It has fourteen different articles written by academics in the 1990s. So far, it looks pretty good. It has some good sections (communications theory, applications, immersiveness), and a few dated topics (location-based VR entertainment, cyberpunk culture).
My copy is lightly annotated by its previous owner and, actually, that’s something that I appreciate because they’ve picked out some of the good bits for me. If you can pick this one up cheap, it is probably worth adding to your library.
That’s all for today. See you again shortly.