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Here is a little taxonomy of what you can find on my blog.
- Posts which title starts with [Literature] are summaries of research papers I have read. Example: [Literature] Strangers and Friends: Collaborative Play in WoW. If you have read a research paper I have posted about and you find I missed a key point, please tell me or leave a comment. I try to explain as clearly and exactly as possible the points of the authors, therefore I might quote them a lot.
- Starting with [Cinema], these posts deal with movies I have seen. Example: [Cinema] A few common aspects in the Matrix, eXistenZ and Avalon movies. Feel free to leave a comment if you find I missed key points (or interesting details) of the movies.
- These posts start with [Conf] and mostly stand as reports from conferences/talks/seminars I have been to. Example: [Conf] Regulating Today for Tomorrow's New Technologies. I sometimes have not enough time to write exactly and exhaustively all that is said and written on the slides, so you are very welcome to leave comments if you find I forgot things as well.
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The idea of this blog started with sociology studies concerning MMORPG players I read. Then I realized that game design impacts players as well. In the “Alone Together?” Exploring the Social Dynamics of Massively Multiplayer Online Games paper, Ducheneaut writes:
We discuss the implications of our findings for the design of future games and other online social spaces. This quote shows that sociologists try to help game designers improve their work. But sociology researchers examine existing game design from a sociological perspective, not from a game design perspective. In this blog, I am trying to get both perspectives. Moreover, implementation is the way game design ideas are presented to players. I have a technical background and I always keep in mind that ideas about MMOG are just words until they have been coded. As an example, which features a particular add-on API provides to the players may influence a lot players' In-Game behaviors. As long as MMOG belong to the computer world, we have to worry about their implementation. Hence, the sociological, game design and implementation parts of MMOG are, for me, intricated.
I have seen many blogs from players interested in game design. It is very interesting that so many people play (Homo Ludens) and think about their play (Homo Ludens Sapientis?). For instance, the Slowdown blog's motto is
A blog for those who spend more time thinking about gaming than gaming. Many blogs of industry game designers and developers can also be found on the Internet. While it happens quite often that outstanding players join MMOG development teams and become game designers (see Scott Jennings for instance), I feel like research work is not taken into account really seriously by the MMO industry. I do not know yet why, but in this blog, being useful (and read, of course) is my goal, and I try not to post random ideas simply for the fun of it. This blog helps me keeping track of what I found interesting in my readings concerning MMOG. I may sometimes post combinations of ideas seen in other blogs, research papers, movies, books, newspapers, discussions... and I sometimes rely on non-MMOG-related sources to make points.
I welcome any feedback on articles (typos, ideas, etc.)