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Designing Virtual Worlds by Richard A. Bartle

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Chapter 5. Life in the Virtual World

KEY TOPICS

  • Advancement

  • Character Generation

  • The Virtual Body

  • Groups

  • Combat

  • Crafting

  • The Elder Game

  • The Whole Picture

Players are real people who enter virtual worlds through the instrument of their characters. Chapter 3, “Players,” looked at players and Chapter 4, “World Design,” looked at the world. This chapter looks at where they meet: characters.

Advancement

Players advance in intangible ways, through the knowledge they gain and the friends they make. Characters also can develop intangibly to some degree, in that they exist partially in the minds of the players who encounter them. However, characters are primarily a tangible phenomenon: They are defined by code and data. The virtual world determines what they can ...

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