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 Gameworlds and Blogs

This story is from the category Total Immersion
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Date posted: 10/05/2005

Blogs are in the news more and more these days, covering music, politics, mass-media, the death of newspapers and so on. One area heavily underrepresented thou, is gaming. Why not put blogs into games, and VR Gameworlds, as a source of dynamic content? Very good question actually. Maybe a better one would be ?Why has no-one done this yet??

Why not place a blog within a massively multiplayer role playing game, where participants can offer fellow players advice, comment on game play, give tips, or spout off on any topic they choose? Gameworlds usually produce great enthusiasm in their followers, indeed often slavish devotion. So why not capitalise on that?

Alas, Few providers are looking into this at the moment, but some observers believe it won't be long before game players find blogs in the games themselves

"I can see [incorporating blogs into games] happening down the road," says David Swofford, director of PR for game maker NCSoft North America. "But nothing we have that's being designed right now incorporates them."

South Korean NCSoft is arguably one of the most powerful online gaming companies in the world, anchored by its Lineage series, which has several million devoted players. Its North American operations are run by Richard Garriott, maker of Ultima, the first commercially successful massively multiplayer role playing game. NCSoft is also the distributor for City of Heroes, a world which has been making headlines of its own.

While in-game blogs have been slow to develop from the corporate side, players and fans are certainly open to the idea of blogging about their virtual lives.

"That would be a good idea," says Tom Zjaba, the man behind the classic videogame and comics blog Tomorrow's Heroes. "Anything that would make a game more interactive and make users more a part of it would be a good thing. I wish there was something like that."

Charlene Li, an analyst who covers blogs for Forrester Research, said: "The reason we don't have more community elements like blogs in games is because the publishers haven't figured out how to harness it and make money off of it."

But with more and more VR gameworlds selling advertising through electronic billboards that dot the virtual landscape or by selling the right to play a band's song during play, it's not too big of a leap to try and sell advertisements around a blog. Everquest even bridged the virtual and real recently when it included a feature that allows users to order Pizza Hut pizza from within the world and have it delivered.

See the full Story via external site: www.technologyreview.com



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