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Arden Sucks, JK

So, I've let yet another week slip away without recording the relevant news.

I did have a major personal revelation, though! The only problem is that now I can't have one of those without Schlick standing in the kitchen at the back of my brain, banging a ladle and screaming "It's not a revelation! It's re-cognition!" [Ack! They call this "higher" "education".]

Ah, Arden! It's no fun!The gift of bard... [ahem] bald honesty is that other people can understand your little slice of reality, and can enter it. And I don't mean that in the strictly virtual way.

By "admitting" to the [questionable] failure of Arden, Castronova has allowed us all into the reality of doing research in virtual worlds. Or trying to. Or whatever. Because the goal - build an educational/entertaining virtual world, create social, economic and narrative systems that are persistent and simultaneously manipulatable by the all-seeing, all-dancing Game Design God to further the goals of social science research - is almost unachievable when people who supposedly know what they're doing are doing it!

You try doing that with $240K and a couple of grad students.
And now we know.

What this means, of course, is that the existing Game Design Gods need to chill the fuck out a little and let researchers into their worlds. And more GDGs need to build games that are persistent, but have narratives that incorporate worldwide structural changes. And social scientists need to design rubrics for study - qualitative and quantitative. And we need to make games that are more fun in different ways - but that's a whole other world.

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