4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic book for designers and players alike,
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This review is from: Designing Virtual Worlds (Paperback)This would be an invaluable book for anyone thinking of designing a virtual world. The advice is applicable not only to large-scale MMPORGs but also MUDs (MOOs, MUSHes etc) run by hobbyists.
Even for those who are primarily players, not designers, this is a great read. Bartle's often witty and clearly-written text makes the book accessible to those with little technical expertise, and he manages to be both entertaining and informative.
Anyone studying virtual worlds from an academic -- rather than a commercial -- perspective will find chapter 7 ("Towards a Critical Aesthetic") very helpful; Bartle goes through a number of different disciplines (literary theory, psychology, education) and explains how virtual worlds could fit into them.
I'd recommend this as an essential text for anyone involved in designing commercial MMORPGs -- having a good grasp of underlying design concepts is surely worth many times the price of the book. However, it would also be a really interesting read for many players, particularly those with a view towards designing their own games, or those keen to examine virtual worlds in an academic light.