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MMOs from the Outside In: The Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games of Psychology, Law, Government, and Real Life

Book Description

This follow-up volume toMMOs from the Inside Out is a further collection of bold ideas, information, and instruction from one of the true pioneers of Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. Whereas its predecessor looked at how MMOs can change the world, MMOs from the Outside In: How Psychology, Law, Culture and Real Life see Massively-Multiplayer Role-playing Games looks at how the world can change MMOs – and not always for the better. The aim of this book is to inform an up-coming generation of designers, to alert and educate players and designers-to-be, and to caution those already working in the field who might be growing complacent about society’s acceptance of their chosen career.

Playing and creating MMOs does not happen in a bubble. MMOs are so packed with potential that those who don’t understand them can be afraid, and those who do understand them can neglect their wider impact. Today's examples are little more than small, pioneering colonies on the shore of a vast, uncharted continent. What monsters lurk beyond the horizon? What horrors will explorers bring back to torment us? MMOs from the Outside In is for people with a spark of curiosity: it pours gasoline on that spark.

It:• Explains how MMOs are perceived, how they could – and perhaps should – be perceived, and how the can contribute to wider society.• Delves into what researchers think about why players play.• Encourages, enthuses, enrages, engages, enlightens, envisions, and enchants.• Doesn't tell you what to think, it tells you to think.

What You Will Learn:• The myriad challenges facing MMOs – and to decide for yourself how to address these challenges.• What MMOs bring to the world that it didn’t have before.• How MMOs are regarded, and what this means for how they will be regarded in future.• That playing and designing MMOs has implications for those who don’t play or design them.

Whom This Book is For:MMOs from the Outside In is a book for those who wish to know more about the wider influence of game design in general and MMO design in particular. It's for people who play MMOs, for people who design MMOs, and for people who study MMOs. It's for people with a yearning to see beyond the worlds of their imagination and to change the world around them.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. About the Author
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
  9. Chapter 1 : On Psychology
    1. Real-Life API: AddWorry
    2. How It Works: Research Funding
    3. Can People Become Addicted?
    4. Correlation and Causality
    5. Uses and Gratifications
    6. Significance
    7. Outliers
    8. On EvE
    9. One Size Fits All
    10. Looking at the Past
    11. Operant Conditioning
    12. The Zeigarnik Effect
    13. Operant Conditioning, Sure. . .
    14. Possibilities
    15. Cheap Psychological Tricks
    16. Ask Dr. Psycho
    17. Integration
    18. Games You Should Have Played #8
    19. After Next
    20. “It’s Just a Game”
    21. Psychology and Games
    22. Therapy
    23. Postscript
    24. What Is Required to Be a Successful Game Designer?
    25. Gamification
    26. Games and Addiction
    27. But Is It Art?
    28. Games You Should Have Played #9
    29. Extrinsic Rewards in Games
    30. Games You Should Have Played #10
    31. Declining Standards
    32. Mope
    33. Child Psychology and Games
    34. Player Type Misuses #3
    35. Awful Happenings
    36. Games and Aggression
    37. The Verb to Gamify
    38. How Violent Is Violent?
    39. A Dark Path
    40. Have Your Cake and Eat It
    41. The Right Stuff
    42. Three Views
    43. Child Protection
    44. Understanding the Experience
    45. A Cynical View
    46. Markey, Markey, and French
    47. Psychology Experiments
    48. Media Effects
    49. Peer Recognition
    50. Ask Dr. Psycho
    51. Own Goal
    52. Games and Identification
    53. Games and Brands
    54. Scattered
    55. Preaching to the Converted
    56. Sticky
    57. And Mr. Hyde
    58. Fatigue
    59. Oppositely Held Views
    60. A Technical Term
    61. Not a Very Good Job of It
    62. Radically Different
    63. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    64. Sex and Violence
    65. Loss Aversion
  10. Chapter 2 : Research Interlude
    1. Marginal Improvement
    2. The Next Wave
    3. Social and Game Worlds
    4. Know Your Place
    5. Academics and Game Designers
    6. Academic Snobbery
    7. Designers and Researchers
    8. Researchers and Play
    9. Things I Don’t Want to Hear About MMOs #1
    10. This Is . . . News?
    11. Progress Is Progress
    12. Attitudes to Academics
    13. Law Professors
    14. The View from Outside
    15. Not the Point
    16. Things I Don’t Want to Hear About MMOs #2
    17. Ethics in Action
    18. Expert Opinion
    19. Recluse’s Victory
    20. Twixt
    21. Player Type Misuses #4
    22. APA, Ten Years On
    23. Unsatisfactory
    24. To Play or Not to Play?
    25. Things I Don’t Want to Hear About MMOs #3
    26. Player Type Misuses #5
    27. A Bit of a Quandary
    28. Fact-Checking
    29. Designer Intent
    30. Things I Don’t Want to Hear About MMOs #4
    31. Experimental Economics
    32. Analysis-Friendly Games
    33. Hammer and Screw
    34. Things I Don’t Want to Hear About MMOs #5
    35. Petri Dish Worlds
    36. Deconstructive Deconstruction
    37. Lab Rats
    38. Invite Sociology?
    39. Things I Don’t Want to Hear About MMOs #6
    40. Unasked Questions
    41. Serious Fun
    42. Things I Don’t Want to Hear About MMOs #7
    43. Buying the Nonexistent
    44. <Something Else>
    45. Better
    46. Player Type Misuses Misuse
    47. Sense of Proportion
  11. Chapter 3 : On Law
    1. Real-Life API—Confuse
    2. MMO Security
    3. When the Chips Are Down
    4. Trojans
    5. Worth Nothing
    6. IP
    7. Cupid Stunt
    8. Security: Piracy
    9. IP Example: The Better Offer
    10. MMO Revenue Models
    11. Not Playing
    12. Security: Client Software
    13. EULA and TOS
    14. Security: Cheating
    15. Firefighting Exploits
    16. Fair Price
    17. Code Is Law
    18. Not a Handicap
    19. IP Example: The Art Within Art
    20. Economic Migrants
    21. F2P
    22. Black-Box Trading
    23. IP Example: The Reputation
    24. The Long Arm
    25. Fair Share
    26. The Rules
    27. Not Transferable
    28. Commodification
    29. Physics, Politics
    30. IP Example: The Sponsor
    31. Sparkle, Ponies!
    32. Place and Jurisdiction
    33. Integrity and Attribution
    34. IP Example: The Dispute
    35. Does Purity Matter?
    36. Reality vs. Virtuality
    37. Farmers
    38. RMT
    39. Have Money, Want Money
    40. IP Examples Summary
    41. Go Right Ahead. . .
    42. Unknown Rules
    43. The Right to Play
    44. The Governing Law
    45. What’s Traded?
    46. Gandalf TM
    47. Attitudes to RMT
    48. Property Ladder
    49. One in Forty
    50. For Sale
    51. Marvel vs. NCSOFT
    52. Right of Entry
    53. Worth Every Penny
    54. Save the Whales
    55. Reality 1, Virtuality 0
    56. Competition Laws
    57. Silly Marvel?
    58. Basic Question
    59. Early RMT
    60. The Beautiful Woman Analogy
    61. Take Aim
    62. Farming Strategies
    63. Rules as Laws
    64. An Unequal Relationship
    65. Why Should I Have to Do That?
    66. Wages
    67. Law Is Code
    68. The Amalfi Coast Drive
    69. An Industry-Standard EULA
    70. “You Could Reduce RMT If You. . .”
    71. Love and Money
    72. Blunt Instrument
    73. IP and RMT
    74. I Own It Because I Bought it
    75. What’s the Difference?
    76. Neither Here nor There
    77. Busy-Person Jason
    78. Bragg vs. Linden Lab
    79. Objects and Data
    80. Goods or Services?
    81. Blizzard vs. MDY
    82. The Famous Mr. Qiu
    83. Reading the EULA
    84. RMT Spectrum
    85. I Own It Because I Stole it
    86. Useless EULA
    87. It’s a Steal
    88. Not So Futile
    89. FOD
    90. Webzen vs. Itembay
    91. Object Representation
    92. Buying Success
    93. A EULAless World
    94. Neither There nor Here
    95. Supply and Demand
    96. Free Not to Play Free-to-Play
    97. Server Size
    98. I Own It Because I Made it
    99. Oh, Great One
    100. The Monopoly Example
    101. Wising Up
    102. Third, Third, Third
    103. Rights of Publicity
    104. Making Things Yours
    105. Incoming Tide
    106. What Really Matters
    107. Least Worst Solution
    108. Paying for Free
    109. Selling Yourself
    110. I Own It Because You Sold Your Time
    111. Sweet Spot
    112. Selling Status
    113. Cuts and Speculation
    114. How Low Can You Go?
    115. Unsporting Behavior
    116. Entitlement
    117. Tipping Point
    118. All in Instances
    119. Achieving Less
    120. On Unfairness
    121. Rights of Service
    122. Why Only Ban?
    123. Anti-capitalism
    124. Over-embracing RMT
    125. Why?
    126. Jerk Avoidance
    127. The Japanese Official’s Answer
    128. Fragments
    129. Integrating Reality
    130. I Own It Because You Made Me Buy It
    131. Cheating
    132. Customer Service Costs
    133. RMT and the Free Market
    134. Free to Leave
    135. Customer Service Made Easy
    136. Tom Cruise Wears Shoes
    137. Real-Life API: Demanding
    138. Mine!
    139. “Who Would Want to?”
    140. Appealing Players
    141. Bogus RMT Propaganda #1
    142. Implications of Virtual Property Ownership
    143. Security: RMT
    144. Save Files
    145. Precedent
    146. Extrapolating the Argument
    147. Bogus RMT Propaganda #2
    148. Is It Fair?
    149. Not Cricket
    150. Dealing with Unwanted RMT
    151. Can’t Take It with You
    152. Tip
    153. To the Limits
    154. Bigger Spenders
    155. Fragments
    156. A Contradiction
    157. RMT Servers
    158. Minimum Viable Player Base
    159. Right to Buy
    160. Is It Right?
    161. Unwanted Responsibility
    162. Bridges and Crocodiles
    163. Rent-a-Character
    164. A Vending Machine
    165. Acts of Gods
    166. Chargebacks
    167. Defeatism
    168. Crystal Ball
    169. Serving Guilds
    170. Nature vs. Nurture
    171. Security: Griefing
    172. Time to Cock
    173. Soul for Sale
    174. Security: UCC
    175. Something to Balk At
    176. Picture This
    177. Underground, Undercover
    178. Playing Within the Law
    179. Separating Wheat from Chaff
    180. Inflated Sense of Entitlement
    181. Perfect World
    182. Fair’s Unfair
    183. Silver Linings
    184. Ju-Jitsu
    185. So It Goes
    186. IANAL
    187. Rabbit
  12. Chapter 4 : AI Interlude
    1. States
    2. NPC Motivation
    3. Rock/Paper/Scissors
    4. State Transition Diagrams
    5. Resident Naughty, If Not Evil
    6. Decision Trees
    7. Search
    8. Obscuration
    9. On Procedurally- Generated Content
    10. Labels
    11. Uninformed Searches
    12. A*, a Star
    13. 40 Percent
    14. Directed Searches
    15. Monte Carlo Tree Search
    16. Exploit or Feature?
    17. Minimax
    18. The Blocks World
    19. STRIPS
    20. Why Plan?
    21. Hungry Pixie
    22. Backward Chaining
    23. Game Theory
    24. Quest Creation
    25. Smarter
    26. Context-Free Quests
    27. Zero-Sum Solution
    28. A Planning Engine
    29. Playing and Developing
    30. Verifiable Goals
    31. Hierarchical Plans
    32. Behavior Trees
    33. A Planned Quest Example
    34. Quest Questions
    35. Problems with Planning
    36. Games Without Logic
    37. Levels of Logic
    38. Naxx and Frogger
    39. Thinking like a Wolf
    40. Imminent AI
  13. Chapter 5 : On Gods & Government
    1. In This Instance
    2. Rights of the Avatar
    3. Government by Consent
    4. Sovereignty
    5. Citizenship
    6. Legitimacy
    7. Rights, Wrongs
    8. Player Numbers
    9. What Is a God?
    10. Player Base Sizes
    11. Age Restrictions
    12. Gods and Realities
    13. Asking for a Pony
    14. Gods, not Governments
    15. One Against a Million
    16. On Rights
    17. Great Axe of Great Axeness
    18. Player Power
    19. Realities and Subrealities
    20. A Marxist Perspective
    21. The Legitimate Use of Force
    22. One in a Million
    23. A Reversal
    24. We, the Players
    25. Consent
    26. Authoritarianism
    27. Supernatural Powers
    28. Descent into the World
    29. Democratic Ideals
    30. Unable to Leave?
    31. Mortals and Immortals
    32. Approaches to MMO Governance
    33. Fairness
    34. Back of the Envelope
    35. Church of Fools
    36. Player Almost-Power
    37. Money Mining
    38. Gods, Governments, Gods, Governments, …
    39. Buying Users
    40. Self-Modifying Systems
    41. Law and Policy
    42. Freedom of Speech Limitations
    43. Guilds and Government
    44. Government Interference
    45. Guild Management
    46. Public Diplomacy
    47. Self-Regulation
    48. Powerful Players
    49. C*n*orshi*
    50. Who Regulates the Regulators?
    51. Taxing Problems
    52. The Point of No Return
    53. The Law in Practice
    54. Interration
    55. Common Carrier
    56. No Place in an MMO
    57. Benevolent Dictatorships
    58. Objectionable Subject Matter
    59. Law and Borders
    60. Public Policy Implications
    61. Special Treatment
    62. Why Censor Games?
    63. Context Is King
    64. Consumer Over-Protection
    65. The Four Rs
    66. Data Protection
    67. How Much Is Too Much?
    68. Half and Half
    69. Consumer Protection
    70. Shooting Horses
    71. Assuming Precedence
    72. Patent Nonsense
    73. Ciphers
    74. Always Open
    75. Repair
    76. Dispute Resolution
    77. MMOs as Realities
    78. Old as New
    79. Replace
    80. Ascending
    81. Return
    82. Observation and Existence
    83. Patently Obvious
    84. Easily Offended
    85. Descending
    86. Reduction
    87. It’s the US Patent Office
    88. Intervention
    89. Don’t Worry, Atheist NPCs
    90. Gamers Are Gamers
    91. Community
  14. Chapter 6 : On Culture & Community
    1. Buff Me
    2. Passion
    3. Different Views of Difference
    4. What Architects Know
    5. Role-Play and Real-Play
    6. Overlapping Communities
    7. TV CD
    8. Real-Life API: ShareCulture
    9. Types of Community
    10. Seeding a Community
    11. OZ Recruiting
    12. On Existence
    13. CC
    14. Use of Community Theory to Designers
    15. Cultural Formation as It Was
    16. Are we AIs in a Virtual World?
    17. Patronizing through Design
    18. Bugged
    19. Design and Community
    20. Influencing Community
    21. Exceptions, Exceptions
    22. You Decide
    23. Community through Metaphysics
    24. American Success
    25. Have a Ball
    26. Culture and Community
    27. Speaking Freely
    28. Seeds and the Environment
    29. Five Examples
    30. Who’d Work in Customer Service?
    31. Human Rights and MMOs #1
    32. A Lens
    33. Supervising a Culture
    34. Cultural Crucibles
    35. Indiscriminate Discrimination
    36. LGBT Free
    37. Sharia Law
    38. What Would You Want?
    39. Cultural Differences
    40. The Ultimate Aim of Design
    41. There’s Gold in Them There Hills
    42. Groups and Culture
    43. Coping with Culture
    44. Care Bears
    45. Human Rights and MMOs #2
    46. Two-Way Traffic
    47. Cultural Imperatives
    48. Blurred Boundaries
    49. Sex vs. Graphics
    50. Managing Players
    51. Fact and Legend
    52. Cultural Environments
    53. Sacrament or Blasphemy?
    54. Cultural Abstractions
    55. False Assumption
    56. Human Rights and MMOs #3
    57. MMO Shared Culture
    58. Inequality for Equality
    59. Blasphemy or Sacrament?
    60. Public Accommodation
    61. Triangles
    62. Reality Bias
    63. Reinforcing a World View
    64. Fiction from Fiction
    65. Thinking or Unthinking?
    66. “Disabled”
    67. Uru Live, Dead, Live, Undead
    68. Correcting Reality
    69. Only One Joan of Arc
    70. Minds and Bodies
    71. Worlds within Worlds
    72. Targeting Your Audience
    73. An Analogy
    74. Human Rights and MMOs #4
    75. Kicking a Virtual Kitten
    76. Transubstantiation Limitation
    77. Levels of Legendary
    78. Reflecting or Correcting?
    79. Vicarious Displeasures
    80. Different Cultures
    81. Community in the Far East
    82. Back to Reality
    83. Reality Corrected
    84. The Lot of a CSR
    85. Pregnant Men
    86. Human Rights and MMOs #5
    87. Group Types
    88. The Customer is Always
    89. Single-Sexism
    90. Human Rights and MMOs #6
    91. Chinese Adena Farmers
    92. Gender-Specific Pronouns
    93. Human Rights and MMOs #7
    94. Slay and Pee
    95. A Thought Experiment
    96. Reason to Be Fearful
    97. Starting as Yourself
    98. Two Views
    99. The Bureaucratic Defense
    100. Human Rights and MMOs #8
    101. Hours per Week
    102. Bait
    103. Perspective
    104. Masquerading
    105. The Mutterings of Old Men
    106. Change
    107. Designing for Whom?
    108. Two Movies for CSRs
    109. Is this Sexist?
    110. Professional Masquerading
    111. Human Rights and MMOs #9
    112. Preserving Games
    113. Customer Service for Thickies
    114. Security: Privacy
    115. Customer Service for Smarties
    116. Human Rights and MMOs #10
    117. Service Agreement
  15. Chapter 7 : On Real Life
    1. Anatomy of an SW: TOR Customer Service Ticket
    2. Human Rights and MMOs #11
    3. UIs
    4. Game Addiction
    5. Girlz
    6. The Industry
    7. Ah, Griefers
    8. Preserving for History
    9. Wrong Answer
    10. Awe and Wonder
    11. 007
    12. Rights of the Person
    13. Irony
    14. Volunteer Army
    15. Old Attitudes Die Hard
    16. Contradictory Policies
    17. Long Arm of the Lore
    18. Preserving for Literature
    19. A Question of Emphasis
    20. Suppose…
    21. Suppose…
    22. Human Rights and MMOs #12
    23. Not Pleased
    24. Data Exposure
    25. Human Rights and MMOs #13
    26. Oh, the Irony
    27. Last Straws
    28. A Little Pleased
    29. Words and Pictures
    30. It’s a Trial
    31. MMOs and Bad Press
    32. Preserving for Art
    33. Prime Minister Suspect
    34. Human Rights and MMOs #14
    35. Tomorrow’s Lost History
    36. Preserving MMOs
    37. General Ignorance
    38. Pieces of Kangaroo
    39. Changing Society
    40. Human Rights and MMOs: Coda
    41. We’ve Already Won
    42. Tarred with the Same Brush
    43. Do Not Defer
    44. The Byron Report
    45. Queen’s Counsel
    46. Breaking Up
    47. Glitterball
    48. The Mass Effect Effect
    49. Showing Respect
    50. Industry Support
    51. Ask Dr. Psycho
    52. Clash of Cultures
    53. X-Men Movie Addict
    54. Be Proud, America!
    55. Don’t Quote Me
    56. Industry Hobbling
    57. Ludium II
    58. Zeitgeist
    59. The Bleak Mundane
    60. Ask Dr. Psycho
    61. Be Proud, Germany!
    62. Real-World Extensible
    63. Real Life API: Consumption
    64. Social Interaction
    65. Talent-Spotting
    66. Genius
    67. Game Graffiti
    68. Anatomy
    69. Real Life API—Exceptions
    70. A Time and Place
  16. Index