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MMOS FROM THE INSIDE OUT: THE HISTORY, DESIGN, FUN, AND ART OF MASSIVELY-MULTIPLAYER ONLINE ROLE-PLAYING GAMES by Richard Bartle

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CHAPTER 4

On Art

A Rape in Cyberspace

One of the most important articles ever written about virtual worlds is Julian Dibbell’s, A Rape in Cyberspace[1]. The title alone is sufficiently provocative that 18 years after its publication, one of the administrators at Essex University (where I teach) made a formal complaint about me when picking up an order of class handouts I’d had printed of it. This was more than a little ironic, as its content is above all about context.

The article concerns an event that took place in LambdaMOO. LambdaMOO is not a game world and it’s textual in nature, but what happened there nevertheless has important consequences for MMOs.

So, in LambdaMOO it was possible to perform freeform emotes. Unusually, with the use of ...

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