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Oct 31, 2004



Are there Uru refugees in There too? I know they have an island in Second Life.


Absolutely fanstastic summary, Betsy. Thanks so much for posting it.


Betsy Book>Celia logged in live to There for her presentation and spoke through two layers of mediation: 1) her There avatar, Artemesia and 2) through Mary Flanagan, who read Artemisia's chat text aloud to the audience.

The purpose of making us endure this was never explained. She hadn't lost her voice, she just chose to have Mary read out what she was typing. I wouldn't have minded so much if she'd told us at the end why she'd done it, but she didn't. Indeed, I got the feeling that people weren't ever going to ask, either because they were too polite or because they figured that's just what she wanted...

>They have been in There for 6 months now and in that time the size of their group has not waned, even when the server code was released and they are able to host their own Uru servers.

Celia said that she was concerned that they might leave There and set up their own Uru server instead. I meant to ask her what that word "concerned" was all about, but there wasn't enough time for much Q&A.



My pleasure, Lisa. Andrew, yes there are Uru refugees in There and Celia showed a live demo of their home base in There in which they had even recreated some of the artifacts from Uru, for example the fountain. I found this really interesting because speaking from a purely stylistic standpoint There is quite different from Uru. But visual formatting aside I can see why a group of women in their 50's would be more comfortable in There than in SWG if it came down to a choice between those two worlds.

I'm intrigued by this idea of groups of nomadic refugees porting their community groups from one world to another. Sometimes out of necessity (world shuts down) sometimes by choice (they get sick of it). Has anyone studied/written about this? Links please if you have them.


Betsy Book>I'm intrigued by this idea of groups of nomadic refugees porting their community groups from one world to another.

I'm intrigued as to why they didn't go back when offered the choice.

I once saw a TV programme in the UK that featured (among other things) a group of people from the Indian sub-continent who had emigrated to Britain. After many years, they still felt out of place in Britain; however, when they returned to India/Pakistan for visits, they felt out of place there, too. Celia's story reminded me of that: in an attempt to keep Uru's original community intact, the refugees have nevertheless overcome the original defining quality of their group. Rather than being defined as Uru refugees, they now define themselves as Uru emigrants.

>Has anyone studied/written about this? Links please if you have them.

Damian Schubert mentions the effect of immigration into M59 of former players of Neverwinter Nights, but only as part of a longer piece. Other than that, nothing immediately springs to mind.

Oh, there was a paper about movement within a virtual world and across shards, by Christian Carazo-Chandler called Online Migration and Population Mobility in a Virtual Gaming Setting - Ultima Online. Unfortunately, the article is itself now offline, so I can't give you a link to it.



There are piles and piles of anecdotal evidence regarding guild migration. if you want to go to primary sources, it's happening right now with many guilds looking to migrate into World of Warcraft and Everquest II. SWG has Eve and Jumpgate emigrees, for example. When UO opened, there were whole communities of M59ers and Realm players.

One of the most interesting is the Shadowclan Orcs. Originally a roleplaying group that played UO, they developed a pidgin language for their group, elaborate rules of behavior, and so on. As the market grew, they migrated into new games--not abandoning UO, but expanding their territory. They had to adapt their pidgin and customs to each new game. Observing them has been fascinating.



So would the development of the Shadowclan Orcs be considered as transformation? Unhindered by the circumstances of our birth, we can become who we want to be and create our own "race"; less pleasure-seeking motivated, but more soul-seeking motivated.


I was only made aware of this site today, otherwise I would have posted much sooner to clear up the numerous inaccuracies in Celia Pearce's description of our Uru group in There.

1. Examples of cultural artifacts of language include a word "shora" which means "peace" and an ethnic garment called "yeesha."

The word is Shorah not shora. It does means "peace" but it is also a greeting somewhat equivalent to "Aloha".

Yeesha is a very important character in the Myst/Uru games and books, not a piece of clothing.

2. In RL, the majority of these players are women in their 50’s who began as Myst fans (solo players), many of whom identify as "shy."

We have members from 13 years old up to well in their 80's, with an average age around 40. There are slightly more women than men - about 55% women, 45% men.

3. We used to consider ourselves Uru refugees, never emigrants. We also did and still do consider ourselves citizens of There. Certainly we have mementos of and tributes to Uru in There but the majority of our community areas and homes reflect each individual's taste, design and style with nothing Uru about it.

4. When the server code was released we began hosting our own Uru servers. Many of us divide our time between Uru and There, others spend more time in Uru, others more time in There. We also have a large contingent in Second Life.

5. We have hundreds of members who have never been to There or only visited briefly and have kept together through our websites, chat-rooms and forums.

6. Celia chose not to use voice in There which has severely handicapped her study of and understanding of our group (and most everyone else in There). So much is lost when you are typing your conversation and many people found it difficult to answer her questions adequately when they had to type and not speak. Furthermore, by only observing our group, not joining us, she completely misunderstood us and made erroneous conclusions, which is apparent in her descriptions of us. This has upset much of the Uru community in and out of There.

Mayor of The Meeting Place (Uru)
Mayor of The Meeting Place of Uru (There)


Soosi, thank you for your responses. I'm glad you took advantage of this forum to give us your perspective, and to correct inaccuracies, regarding the research that's been done. When we set up the site, we hoped it could serve exactly this purpose. This kind of dialog helps everyone see what is really going on.



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