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Jun 14, 2007



I like the term "dream" (e.g. Furcadia), so I guess you would say: "I'll be dreaming after work"...

If guess players would use the terms "playing" or "logging in" for entering and "logging" for leaving.

"Pegging" sounds like punishment (being pegged to the ground?), and a quick search on Wikipedia brings up certain sexual activities which gives me the wrong associations... Though, perhaps, true enough...


Hm, I think the only pegging you will see is in Second Life. *wink*

I like the introduction of business-model categories, but even a single game can have multiple models in the international market. Take WoW, for example, which has traditional subscriptions in NA/Europe and a pay-per-hour system in China.

As a metric, I would like to see the average number of players online for a given time of day.


Hours/week by avatar is what I'd want. Then I could immediately compare it to a work week and get a better sense of "adoption".


Santa, i'd want the Companies to legally define their activity and the player - company relationships. And an icecream pretty please. Real-virtual and virtual-real became boring.


Pegging is certainly a name that will ensure nobody takes your statistics seriously. It reminds me of "dogging".

Also, why are the revenue seeking outfits getting involved? It's not real money.


So you wouldn't mind if we place a tracking device on you in real life to track you around? After all think of all the statistics we could collect on you and then use that to market to you.

To think that going to hooters is different than going to McDonalds than going to a super market, then wrap a little medical records with credit card receipts, it would be a freaking bonanza.

I personally like my privacy so I would adhore this type of activity.


Christ. OK, I guess pegger is not what we are looking for. nm.


What's a good verb for "going into a synthetic world"?

Toling/tolis ('Turn On, Log In...')

('Pegging' sounds like it should be British sexual slang...)

I think one problem here is the diversity of worlds. "Going into" LOTRO is a fundamentally different thing than logging into SL; the metaphors don't blend well, so it's hard to find a generic word that doesn't sound, well, generic. Even 'pegger' is derived from the 'RPG' aspect which isn't a major part of some worlds. Though if you insisted, you could have roleing/rolers...


Just a minor correction, the term I suggested was "decker," which was derived from holodeck. This term inspired Daniel Stengel over at SWN to come up with the term "pegger." I suppose both words aren't the greatest, but they do at least conjure some interesting visuals. :)


As the Wikipedia on Savage Love attests, Dan Savage coined the term "pegging" as something highly untoward in the discussion.

Possible terms cribbed from other sources:
Jacking In


Why not just 'playing', 'players', and 'logging in/out.' That's what virtually all virtual world activity is about, and it's a term already in common use. Lots of people have been calling the activities/participants that for 15+ years.



@Matt : because they need a new brand name for the same old thing .
You know, the old marketing trick : you dont have to actually have anything to sell , just make the potential buyers think there's " something "; also, there's no necesarrily to be a real need, just make them believe they need / want that " something".
You know like the sudden need for institutionalized " war on the global terror ",while the terrorism as phenomenom exists since the world exist : all you have to do is to fuel it and to sensibilize the masses , so you create the " need " of.....your own leadership ; wich creates a market for your weapons industry ; and a " noble " reason and justification for anything you might wish/want.

Ed, playing online games is just that , playing games. The only need is to ensure and warant the players' and companies' already established legal rights.To protect and to enforce them where and when is necessary.

Yes you have communications while gaming ; yes you have social interactions while gaming ; the same happends when you fart in elevator.
But keep the game what it is : game. Don't transform the elevator into a chemistry laboratory or into parfumes bazaar.

Ed, you ask for companies to send honest data.
You are asking for consented economic espionage.
You are asking for us, the players , to " freely and for our own good and safety " ,to mount a webcam in each and every bedroom . And to give you the remote controll.


Why not just 'playing', 'players', and 'logging in/out.'

Dunno, but I am not sure if people necessarily will log-in in the future. That the entry will be more fluid, think AR.


Matt, that's perfect. It's a word able to describe having fun, using the imagination and having the ability to become a different person. Just because it's not being used in the context of referring to a child, I think it's just as apt.

I don't know who would want to release data when Warcraft is so dominant, it just makes you look foolish. If a government entity did order the numbers to be handed over, would they be subject to privacy concerns, and not be released anyway?

I went over the numbers a bit more on my blog.


I think the privacy concerns are a bit overboard here. The game companies already have all the data Ed mentions (and more). He's just an economist wanting a nice stack of numbers to sift through, as in any other industry.

As for the name, Matt has my vote as well--for now. But realize that Ed is looking for specialized jargon (academics love terminology!) to fit a narrow purpose, he's not trying to brand a catchphrase on an evil industry marketing campaign...


Euphrosyne wrote:

I think the privacy concerns are a bit overboard here.

Agreed. Considering that every single thing you say and do can be logged by the game operators it seems like worrying about being averaged into something akin to "3.5 million users spent a median seven hours per week" is misplacing your concern.



I'm not worried about privacy, but I thought that government entities may be bound to some law that might not allow them to release that data.


I think "cat assers" is an appropriate term. If used enough, it could eventually lose the connection with a cat's rear end. Imagine the word 'delicatessen' with a short 'a' sound in 'tess' and then remove the 'deli'. Usage example:

Kid: Hey mom, I'm going catassing with some friends in World of Warcraft.

Mom: But I'm making Stove Top stuffing!

Kid: !


Matt Mihaly>Why not just 'playing', 'players', and 'logging in/out.'

This was my reaction, too. Why look for new terms to describe something we already have perfectly serviceable terms for already?

An always-pressing problem is what to call our objects of study. For the first 10 years of their existence, they were pretty well just called MUDs, but hen following the 1989-1991 split between social and game-like worlds the word "MUD" was rejected by the social worlds, who applied it only to refer to the game-like worlds (game-like worlds still used it inclusively). The social worlds came up with their own names, none of which really stuck (as often seems to be the case with nomenclature for revolutionists). Then along came the graphical worlds, which again showed their newness credentials by lumping all that went before them together under the old term (MUDs) and giving themselves a new term (MMORPGs, aka MMOGs, aka MMOs). This meant there was no way to refer to MMORPGs and MUDs as a group, so we had to come up with a new term (Virtual World). With the rise of worlds such as Second Life, though, the term Virtual World has increasingly become appropriated by the non-game worlds, meaning that it's getting harder to refer to WoW and SL as both being "virtual worlds".

There's no reason why we shouldn't have separate terms for social worlds and game-like worlds or for graphical worlds and textual worlds. The problem is that each new innovation tends to lump all what went before it together and separate itself off, either leaving behind the old umbrella term (showing the new idea to be fresh and different) or assuming it (suggesting the old idea to be a mere precursor of the new).

Into the mix we always have people throwing in new names and trying to get them some currency. I'm guilty of this myself (I used MUA for a while, meaning "Multi-User Adventure" - it didn't catch on), but you can also add terms such as MU*, Persistent World, Synthetic World, and dozens more. Half of all PhDs theses on the subject seem to want to use a new term of their own devising in the vain hope that it'll stick. We also get people inventing new terms arbitrarily and trying to pass them off as part of the common tongue (see the bizarre inventions in Wikipedia's MMOG entry).

What we need from an umbrella term is:
1) Pronounceability. No acronyms you have to spell out.
2) Unclaimed. Someone already staked out Virtual Reality. The acronym for Virtual Worlds is used by Volkswagon.
3) Inclusive. If it mentions games, the SL crowd won't like it; if it mentions user-created content, the WoW crowd won't like it.
4) Exclusive. Bingo is a "massively multiplayer online game" when you break the terms down and see if they apply.
5) Future-proof. Does it fall prey to a distinction between RMT/non-RMT worlds, say? Would it still work if there were a real-world component, or if stereoscopic 3D graphics came along?
6) Neutral. Sorry, Persistent Environment Games, but your acronym is too smutty.
7) Descriptive. It should give a hint as to what it refers to. Then again, it would be SO much easier if we could just refer to all of these as TOTs ("Those Online Things") and forget about it.

I expect to go to my grave without there being a commonly-accepted term for all these (what we currently call) virtual worlds.



Oh, Richard. You want a new round on the definition of the term virtual world? LOL! Funny I wrote my definiton-entry right before I read your comment then...

"logging in" is not future-proof as it depends on old-fashioned password authentication. You don't have to log into your cell-phone (depends on the configuration).


Just a note, your link to mmogdata.com is pointing to mmogchart.com. Might want to fix that.


You don't have to log into your cell-phone

But your cell phone does have to 'log in' to the carrier's network, the process is just invisible to the user. Authentication will always be required at some level, so I don't see the concept of "logging in" becoming defunct any time soon, even if the semantics are changing away from the 60's-era terminal metaphor.

For me, "logging in" also carries more implications of activity and presence then the more generic "authenticate". The latter is a pure action, but the former suggests certain intentions beyond the activity of authenticating.


If I had to pick one, I like 'worlding'/'worlders'. Context sensitive, perhaps, but context independent terms would probably end up hampering that wonderful 'membrane' paradigm.


Ola Fosheim Grøstad>Oh, Richard. You want a new round on the definition of the term virtual world?

No, I don't want one, I'm just saying we'll get one...



euphrosyne: Authentication will always be required at some level, so I don't see the concept of "logging in" becoming defunct any time soon

Yes, I totally agree. However, I predict that in the future usage patterns of some online worlds will change from sessions into parallell realities where the activity is more fluid than can be captured by the concept of "logging in". E.g. There is no clear session when two users chat using cell-phone text messaging, but there is measurable levels of activity!

Imagine an annotated reality application where "monsters" pop out of nowhere whenever your brain activity is measured as "bored"... Etc.


(I meant "augmented reality", not annotated...)


Back to MMOGdata.com for a second, it would be useful to separate between free-to-play advertiser-based (VMK, Neopets), free-to-play that incorporates item sales (Maple Story), and free-to-play that does both in-game advertising and item sales (Habbo, Kart Rider in Asia).

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