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Chapter 3. Players > Player Types

Player Types

For almost two decades, virtual worlds had no theories of anything. There were theories of other things that were applied to virtual worlds (as will be discussed in Chapter 6, “It's Not a Game, It's a…”), but no theories of virtual worlds themselves. This changed in 1996, with the publication of Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs[4] in the first issue of the newly founded Journal of MUD Research[5] Its author was Richard Bartle, that's me[6]; if that puts you off, please skip to the next section.

[4] http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm

[5] http://www.brandeis.edu/pubs/jove. It's now the Journal of Virtual Environments.

[6] This explains why I get to write this book and you don't.

Rather than reproduce the entire paper here in full, I'll instead focus on its main points. Interested readers who prefer books to web pages are referred to Bridgette Patrovsky and Jessica Mulligan's Developing Online Games: An Insider's Guide[7], which includes this paper as an appendix.

[7] Bridgette Patrovsky and Jessica Mulligan: Developing Online Games: An Insider's Guide. Indianapolis, New Riders Publishing, 2003.


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