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Nov 04, 2003


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You say "A number of virtual worlds have company-sponsored 'news' feeds, but they're often digital infomercials (though sometimes not)."

I click on the _though sometimes not_ link. First sentence I read there is: "After their monster success with Burning Life, the Lindens decided to aim for another success -- with monster." Zzzt. Digital infomercial ;)


Ooop! Mean to add: someday someone will make a Brazil virtual world. I hope I am on that team :)


This isn't exactly new, though of course it's amusing given the TSO context. But what if not a free press were the sites like Vault, Crossroads, and Stratics? Editorials, "business pages" of tricks and tips, news items updated daily...


Good point. I wonder what journalism professionals think about independent information websites. They seem to play the same role as newspapers.


Wooot! Thanks for the kind words (i.e. plug) about our blog, Ted. I should point out that an earlier incarnation of The Alphaville Herald, the TSO Herald also did some limited critical reportage of TSO, including the fact that Maxis removed criticism from the TSO user boards.

We have some pretty serious stories in the works, including one on flaws with the TSO privacy policy, one on in-game prostitution, and also one on the problem of minors pursuing adults for sex in the game (big problem by some accounts). We also wanna review some of the "illegal" software patches (allowing nude-presenting sims online)and bots which work the money objects 24-7. The latter are presumably the source of the flood of simoleans that has demolished the in-game economy.


As MMO worlds become more open-ended, the need for journalism increases since you’re no longer just covering a fantasy narrative scripted by the developers, but rather chronicling the creation of a society. As Raph points out, EQ/UO/DAOC/SWG all have lots of user-created editorial content floating around the games, but they tend to deal with game mechanics, scripted events, etc. I’ve definitely observed a correlation between emergent play and the desire to interpret, chronicle, preserve and understand the goings on within a world. Do journalists begat news or the other way around?


We have also been surprised at the demand for news sites and reporting about There.

One of my favorite sites is http://www.calderasuntimes.com/

This site is supported by VW Business Advertising, much like a RL news website might be funded by RL Business Ads.


> First sentence I read there is: "After their
> monster success with Burning Life, the
> Lindens decided to aim for another success --
> with monster." Zzzt. Digital infomercial ;)

Well, that might be an understandable impression from reading a single entry like that one. However, to get a fuller sense of what I'm trying to do in New World Notes, please check out the Classic Notes section at the site, or the three part article I did on race and identity in-world, from last week, "White Like Me":




Following up on the post by Hamlet Linden, it is worth noting that his New World Notes in addition to Julian's reportage served as partial models for what we wanted to do. The diff (in the former case) being that we wanted to be free of company sponsorship and we wanted to cross-breed the idea with some meta-commentary ala terra nova. We'll see if this works...

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