9 December, 2009
I saw a post on We Fly Spitfires a little while ago talking about the Worldplay Project. This project is run by researchers out of Trinity University looking at how online gaming can bring people together. Part of their research is collecting data from players like those that read blogs.
Read on for some more information and my thoughts on the project.
You should go read Gordon's post at We Fly Spitfires if you want to know more about the project. He covered it in good depth, so I won't try to repeat what he said.
Personally, I'm excited to see some initial research in this area. Meridian 59 had a loyal following in Germany as well as in the U.S. During the peak when Near Death Studios was running M59, we actually had more German players than those in the U.S. One of my earliest MUD memories was realizing that I could talk real-time with someone in England over the text; for a lower-class kid who barely traveled out of the state and had only visited Mexico once during a student exchange trip, this was an amazing experience. Something that's probably less impressive to people these days used to interacting with others. (Especially considering that Gordon lives in England and I'm sure lots of people in the U.S. read his blog like I do.)
Even in my professional life, I've sent a lot of time traveling to other countries. My work has taken me to France, Germany, China, and England to do consulting and contract work for different MMOs. I've corresponded with people in many more countries about my work, even French Canadians. ;) Even a relatively small game like Meridian 59 has gotten a lot of international interest and enthusiastic fans.
Anyway, I encourage you to take a look at the project. There's a page about research methods for the project. They've also posted up some raw data from the questionnaire. They're encouraging discussion about the findings as well.
Hopefully they'll process some of the data they've collected so far into summary form, and will collect more information. It's an interesting glimpse into a topic that's becoming more important to online game developers as the world truly becomes smaller.
What do you think? How has the transnational nature of online gaming affected your play?