Blog Archive

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Notes from the Community Workshop at ITU, CPH, 040521

Outcomes of the workshop
Community Work: Managing Multiplayer Culture
21 May 2004

The conference was hosted by the ITU in Copenhagen, Denmark. About a hundred persons turned up for the event.
These notes are informal.
More information, and slides from the presentations, is available at the URL:

The program:
09:30-09:45 Welcome and announcements
09:45-11:00 Session I - Julian Dibbell, "Ownzored!: Property and Policy in the Age of eBayers, Gold Farmers, and Other Enemies of the Virtual State"
11:00-11:20 Coffeebreak
11:20-12:35 Session II - Richard Bartle, "Managing to Manage"
12:35-13:35 Lunch
13:35-14:50 Session III - Constance A. Steinkuehler, "MMOG Guild Leaders as a Com/Dev Resource"
14:50-15:10 Coffeebreak
15:10-16:25 Session IV - Edward Castronova, "The Future of Cyberspace Economies"
16:25-17:00 Closing session/wrapup

What I found most useful to me was the speech by Richard Bartle, and the one by Constance Steinkuehler.
RB strongly emphasized that community itself is not something to design – the community designs itself within a VW. He also said that designers make virtual worlds in order to get to know themselves.
Later on I asked him for advice of what type of code base would be usable for a system that would use a high persistence for player created content and also use adventure type event triggers. He recommended LP. (He has written about uses for different code bases in chapter two in Designing Virtual Worlds.)

Constance Steinkuehler mentioned a few activities that guild leaders do in the game Lineage that I found relevant for my methodological overview of characterization techniques:
- That guild leaders documents individual players histories and make it part of the guild history
- That she, as a guild leader, gave the individual players characteristic relevant to their position in, and use in the group.
I also appreciated Constance’s overview of the movement from behaviourism to cognition studies. And the discourse analysis was good.

The social environment had a good feel to it. A few Swedish researchers were present, and Daniel Pargman (Code Begets Community, 1999) suggested that we could start a Swedish network. We agreed that previous initiatives has been somewhat perfunctory, from foundations that does it in a political/funded frame, and that it would be better if we did it ourselves, informally. On the Saturday I had dinner at Jesper Juul's place with Espen Aarseth, TL Taylor and Ren Reynolds. It was very nice to get to know them in a less formal setting.

The following to do’s are derived from conversations:
- Dimitri Williams - Thesis about effects of videogames - long (1 month) study of ac players. Check methodology. Ask Paul.(Ren Reynolds tips)
- Remind Jesper J to send Loop in A minor – (player created emergent music patterns)
- a good editor for java programming. (JJ showed)
- New PhD thesis in Swedish, by Jonas Linderoth Datorspelandets mening - bortom iden om den interaktiva illusionen - inft for pedagogik och didaktik, Gbg Uni
- TL Taylor - Player type - power leveller – paper on the digra (or was it igda) site. Add to section on player taxonomies
- Remind Elina Koivisto at Nokia to send me the paper on the mobile game
- Check out Subspace, the game that Emil had a guild in, and that is ‘given’ to the players.
- Check out the LP Mud code base Bartle recommended. But first ask for a second opinion from JC Lawrence, (host of the MUD dev conf and list)
- Burn down a stable build of NEL to CD and send to JJ, don’t forget to point to the hidden tutorials.