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The Basics

People often want to categorize the various virtual worlds, to make it easier to discuss their particular interests or find a world that is most suited to their needs. Prospective players, for example, will want to know what a world looks like and its setting: If you want to role-play an interstellar pirate, you're not going to have a lot of luck in a Fantasy environment. Marketers and investors are more concerned with a product's longevity and its user demographics: They may not want to spend any time in a virtual world themselves, but they're keen to know about those who do. Finally, designers have their own, theoretical issues to resolve, in addition to understanding what the players and marketers think.

Having looked at virtual worlds from a historical perspective, the categorizations typically used present themselves fairly readily:


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