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Jul 07, 2011



I think that this topic is very interesting, but i`d like to know what do you think of the use of the Second Life to practice the cooperation?


Edward, could you point me please to somewhere I could read about the reasons to design for non-cooperation?

I'd like to see the other side.


You know, that's a heck of a good question. Economists have spent a
great deal of time and energy coming up with ways to decrease
cooperation and increase competition, because in many cases
cooperation (as in price-fixing) leads to bad outcomes for others.

Now, as for sources - it's a huge literature. Deregulation is one
branch, where the driving concept was that central regulation is
inferior to open competition, so rather than turn everything over to
an agency you should design a playing field within which the players
had to compete. Very 1980s. But analysts have gone beyond that to
the broader question of, how do you make a new market? How do you
make competition happen? See this book from Brookings:


You could spend a lifetime in that area.

As for creating competition in games, I think that's almost entirely
in-house expertise, not really written down anywhere. Probably the
main term there is "balance." The various powers of the players have
to be kept in line. Games are always trying for a knife-edge
equilibrium, where many strategies are all viable, like Rock Paper
Scissors. This is why you often see that if one strategy becomes
dominant, everyone switches to it. That's knife-edge. As for
anti-trust, MMOGs have had to deal the most with anti-competitive
emergent institutions like guilds.

On the whole, it's a massive area with lots of sinews between games
and economics. Making competition happen - the game designers do it
every day.

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