Tag Archive | MMORPG

Book Review: Designing Virtual Worlds

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…

A very cyberpunk future for tomorrow’s Metaverse?

Image Source: Unknown (multiple uses)

Image Source: Unknown (multiple uses)

In the Oculus Rift forum, I came across an interesting letter. It claimed to be written by someone who previously worked for Valve’s VR team. In it, he talks about the future of the Metaverse. It is unnerving how plausible his prediction plays out.

He believes that a combination of three things will take us in the wrong direction:

  • ┬áVirtual reality is a more engaging experience than other media types
  • The perception that “the pinnacle of VR is a gigantic shared MMORPG” (the Metaverse)
  • The ad-financed model that is pervasive in the online industry (because we want free services)

Is the Metaverse destined to be run by a companies that are trying to maximize your engagement and sell your attention to advertisers? Will they build a detailed profile personal based upon your every action (if only to enhance their ability to engage and advertise to you even better in the future)?

What would a Metaverse that is born out of today’s environment look like? You really need to read his perspective on the future of VR. Perhaps the Metaverse of tomorrow will be nothing but a treadmill to keep you hooked, advertised to, and recording/analyzing your responses to refine the process?