Why this blog exists...

Many many years ago, four ne'er-do-wells became interested in a topic that was both arcane and pointless. One of the things which catalyzed their interest was an activity that was so ridiculous that it didn't seem possible. Yet this ridiculous activity formed the basis of the early work of all of the four ne'er-do-wells (and was the core of three tenure cases and one book deal).

When they looked at this ridiculous activity they noticed that there was this guy, who had this company. The guy had been a child actor in Hollywood, and had formed the company to make money doing the ridiculous activity. And this company seemed to be making a ridiculous amount of money. All of the four ne'er-do-wells met the ex-actor, and looked at his company, and simply couldn't believe their eyes.

Simply. Could. Not. Believe. Their. Eyes.

So they created a blog. They called it Terranova, and they started to look at the weird topic of virtual worlds, and the ridiculous activity of gold farming, and the ex-actor called Brock Pierce, and the company called IGE. But they never got very far, because investigating this stuff is hard, and calls for fact-checking, and is slightly dangerous. So they didn't do much with it.

But then the most talented of the founders of the blog got a commission to write a piece for Wired, providing chapter and verse on the early days of gold farming, and Brock, and IGE.

And the others read it.

And. Simply. Could. Not. Believe. Their. Eyes.

Comments on Why this blog exists...:

Edward Castronova says:

You mean people actually pay real money for gold pieces in some video game?

Posted Dec 11, 2008 12:55:58 AM | link

Cunzy1 1 says:

Quite why it is still going is anyones guess.

Posted Dec 11, 2008 4:37:33 AM | link

Daniel Speed says:

I still find myself a bit disappointed that Terranova has lost a lot of the discussions that interested and involved developers, in favour of mainly focusing on academic chin-rubbing.

It used to be such a nice site for bringing the two groups together a bit.

Posted Dec 11, 2008 7:18:02 AM | link

Constance Steinkuehler says:

Julian's article is outstanding and more quietly surreal than- well, than most virtual worlds I inhabit (L2 & WoW included). It contains the features of nearly every great narrative: sex, greed, triumph, failure... everything but maybe, redemption? I met Brock a few years ago, as I recall, but only now do I like him. He is the perfect terrible angel.

Julian proves himself, once again, an epic storyteller.

Posted Dec 11, 2008 9:47:37 AM | link

Tom Hunter says:

I remember discovering Terra Nova about the time you four set it up. As a gamer and (at the time) pricing strategy guy it was a wonderful intellectual romp.

I too miss the days when there was a conversation between developers and academics. It may be inevitable that the two groups seperated over time, but it was huge fun while it lasted.

Merry Christmas to all of you

Posted Dec 21, 2008 9:28:14 PM | link

Jim says:

Seems like a very very old blog, kind of confusing about what is mainly about though.

Posted Jan 16, 2009 7:14:34 PM | link

JellyRoll says:

ur hawt

Posted Feb 19, 2009 5:33:10 PM | link