Adventures in the Invisible Tent
– Explores the implication of this uncanny art form on how we build and use virtual environments. It first explains why this invisible tent is considered to be a software bug. The article explores how our ability to accept the uncanny varies from person to person. It then suggests that the spatial, built, environment is far less important than the social structures that exist within them.
– We finally have some reliable figures for the commercial value of "minipet" micro-transactions in the game, World of Warcraft. Specifically, the sales of just 1 item: In November and December 2009, at least $2.2 million worth of Pandaren Monk pets were sold. 220,000 at $10 each. We know this because "50% of the purchasing price" was donated to charity, and "more than $1.1 million" was donated (via...
Exploration is Dead. Long Live Exploration!
– Explores the concept of exploration, and tries to explain how one of the most complex virtual worlds ever created (World of Warcraft) has become popular among players that are not natural explorers.
Favorite Fishing Places
– Analyses the favourite fishing locations of World of Warcraft anglers. Both where and why.
– The Frostmourne Cavern event, in Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
Nation of Adoration
– World of Warcraft's seasonal holiday events temporarily reduce player interest in fishing. It's always been the case, but the decline in fishing seems to be becoming more extreme over time: The graph's y-axis is the percentage decline in page views at El's Extreme Anglin' from the 7 days before each event, to the first 7 days of the event. Pageviews are a good proxy for overall angler interest. El ...
Paying for Points
– Examines the sociological implications of the different reward systems used in virtual worlds.
Peeking Into Blizzard's Development Process
– Blizzard Entertainment have a reputation for being "tight lipped", and not announcing details about the games they develop. And since Blizzard have a lot more freedom than the developers that are closely regulated by their publishers, they should be able to talk openly. But having listened to many of their senior developers talk during the recent Paris "WorldWide Invitational", I suspect actually,...
Pro-Auctioneering, the New eSport
– Explains how the art of making money in World of warcraft could become an electronic sport.
Where We Fish
– Analyses where players fish in the game World of Warcraft. It reveals the role of daily quests in shaping our fishing habits, demonstrates just how popular city-fishing is, and starts to reveal why we fish.
Why We Travel
– If we could eliminate transportation from our daily lives, would we want to? Or do we still need to travel, even if we have nowhere to go? This article explores the desire to travel - to make economically irrational transport journeys. It ponders the apparently unnecessary role of travel in virtual worlds. It considers how travel contributes to immersion within the world, and how such travel can be...