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May 06, 2004






Could. Not. Be. More. Pleased.


Woot! Big congrats Ted... on both the great job /and/ tenure. Now that's a score ;) They are lucky to have you. It's cool to hear all you have planned. Best of luck with all the new ventures!


oh, and btw, love the freedom rant. speak it! ;)



And yes indeed, tenure is a very special form of freedom. I am sure you will make the most of it.


Very very cool - congratz! VW's unite! Eastward ho! (at least from GMT -5 onwards ;)


Congrats, Ted! With tenure you're now able to focus on more important things -- like faculty football tickets!

We're going to have mix some beers and math at E3, however :-)!


Best of luck in the new position, Ted. I can't wait to hear what your students end up doing on your watch. Should be really good.



When's the first virtual conference on virtual worlds? ;-)



May you progress the many other aspects of Virtual World Design as far as you have the single aspect of virtual economies. I know that virtual economies will never be the same after the many years that you have put into them, and I can only imagine what you can do with your new found freedom and the ability to focus on your passion.

May you find the dream you're looking for,


Bruce Boston
Economy Designer


Congratulations for your new position!
Indiana University offers you a tenured post on VWs, which means IU recognizes VW research as a legitimate academic research activity. That's one "big" step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. Cheers to the new "cyberian frontier!"


And if you ever do get that refund, let us know. I'm still waiting for mine on a couple of things. :-)


I knew about this a while ago, but it's nice to hear it's public. :)

Hmm, MIME program. Say hi to Thom Gillespie. Maybe with TWO of you pestering me, I might make it out there to fulfill my obligations as an advisor to the program. (I've technically been an advisor for years, but have never gotten out there...)



Er, I like mathematics /blush
Neat rant though



All math?




May you virtualize your real dream.


Congratulations and good luck! :)


Congrats! Having a job focused on virtual worlds must be a dream!


Congrats, Professor! Math isn't exactly boring and stupid, but I agree that sometimes you have to duck when economists start throwing it around.


Congratulations, Ted. Makes me wish I were at Chicago now so I could take your class.


GMT -5 checking in to join the celebration of a freedom cry heard 'round the world.

Congrats Ted. You are making history.


Congrats, and welcome to BIG TEN land! Being a full time emp. at PSU, as well as a grad student, I may have to take you up on one of the seminars open to the big ten schools. I'll be in touch off-list.



Now go get falling-down drunk, Ted. You've earned it and then some.



Congrats, I'm sure we all, not just your students, will benefit from your new intellectual freedom.

Math = a tool. It can be used amazingly well or amazingly poorly. I suspect you're right about math and human behavoir.



(I loved the rant)


bbc> *ding*

what new spells do i get???

Julian> Now go get falling-down drunk, Ted.

My wife tried to pour champagne on my head but the baby thought she was assaulting me. so we sat quietly and sipped. and THEN i fell over.

postscript regarding math: this gets into a fairly involved question of research methodology in the social sciences. i don't mean to denigrate anyone who's mathematically inclined. but then, a rant isn't supposed to be refined, is it. let's just say that there's Smallmath and Bigmath, and i don't like Bigmath. Smallmath is OK.



(I too disagree about math though -- maybe you were doing the wrong kind of math.)

Now you have to start building your empire. Who's the next hire at IU???



Welcome to the MMORPG developers club. A few words from one of the friendly grizzled veterans, sitting in the corner:

1) Welcome, welcome, welcome! Having someone with your background amongst us is an honor and a pleasure. Your skills enrich our community. I, for one, am already plotting to see how we can work together in the future…(rubbing hands together in a conspiratorial way)

2) Your first design will not survive contact with the customer/target user/enemy. Be ready to adapt quickly and eat a lot of crow. Listening to the advice of us veterans will help avoid the first-and second-generation pitfalls, but the nature of these products is innovation, and innovation always stumbles. Even so, we keep on plugging away. Gordon Walton wasn’t trying to scare off competitors, he was really trying to help.

3) As one who has paid a price for this particular form of egomania which is creating your own virtual worlds/platforms: These will eat your life, if you let them. Even God rested once a week.

4) Once you enter this club, you will never leave. You may leave the industry, but it will always be a/control part of your soul. But it’s OK, because you are amongst friends.

One of us! One of us!
All raise a glass to Ted, he’s One of Us!



Sheesh, Randy, quit spilling the beans! [Edit: actually, he didn't spill the beans at all, I had just made a public announcement about this at Yahoo! a couple days ago.]

Yes, while it's not known to the general public, Randy's above references to game design have some connection to truth. I'm hoping to build virtual worlds at IU, ones that are just as fun as current MMORPGs (bah - I want them to be more fun!), but that also lend themselves to education and research purposes. Right now I'm up to my ears working on a design, and I hope to have it finished by the end of the summer. Next year I'll try to consult with various folks (old hats especially) about how to do this right, and I'll also be lining up funding.

Before anyone gets too excited - there's nothing in place right now, no money, no team, no hiring authority, zilch. But if this sounds like a project you'd like to keep an eye on, or potentially work for, let me know (unless I have your name already, of course). If you have yourself seen the potential for this technology in the university sphere, and are in a position to seed an effort, by all means, get in touch. I can't do anything for several months, of course, but once I am settled in Bloomington I plan to hit this project full force.

Thanks everybody for the well wishes. With all this enthusiasm, maybe the time is ripe to change the world a little bit.



Well that's what you get for studying mathematical/economic models of human behavior.

It always seemed to me that the push for mathematical models for human behavior was just a strained attempt to elicit poetic justice from a cute-in-theory plot device as imagined by Asimov.



Congrats, Ted.

Freedom does unlock or even enhance creativity. Is there a mathematical model for this?

I am looking forward to the new developments at IU.



Mazel tov on the gig, and yet another welcome to the Big 10 from me. I'm at Michigan right now, but about to take my first tenure-track job this fall at Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. (So we'll be within driving distance of each other.) As a former West-Coaster, I also sympathize with the move from the warmth to the cold. Well, the good news is IU is just a ridiculously pretty campus.

If I'm not mistaken, this also makes for a nice critical mass of game researchers in the Midwest now. And, since we're talking about tenure-track or tenured positions at big research universities, I think these placements are also a nice threshold for seeing games research taken seriously on a larger scale.



Dmitri --

Wow, congrats on the teaching gig! I was just out in U/C a few months ago -- It's a wonderfully idyllic Midwest cultured cow-town! Am I right that it sounds like you'll be able to continue with your games research?


Yeah, they saw that I had articles on games and did a dissertation on MMRPG effects (on my CV page for anyone who wants it) and they STILL hired me. I took that as a green light to continue. :) I do some non-game Internet work as well, and plan to keep doing both things, hopefully with more long-term field experiments.

And actually, there's another young faculty member there named Christian Sandvig who'd dabbled in games teaching.

Cow-town, here I come. Actually, it's not too bad for a smaller town. The university adds pizzaz to what would otherwise be pretty plain (pun on plains). And I believe Volition is there, so I even get a developer in my back yard.


Congratulations! IU Bloomington is where I went to college, and one of the nicest cities I ever lived in. Very high ratio of creative people to those of other persuastions. I'm sure it'll work out great for you there, and I wish you success in getting more credibility for the field, advancing the state of knowledge, and hopefully making some really cool games. If you want to make something in isometric 2D we should talk. :X)

-- Dr. Cat

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