The session on Community Modelling from BARcamp got me thinking about large scale simulations again, so I’ve been reading Terra Nova more carefully than before. This article really caught my eye today, Terra Nova: I say tomato. You say it’s a warm day. I loved this quote from the article:

It makes me wonder if the reason Asians are willing to tolerate, en masse, online worlds with relatively primitive graphics (Lineage, for instance) is partially explained by the cultural difference this study demonstrated. To a Westerner who focuses immediately on the individual models, Lineage may seem far more primitive than to someone who may try to focus on the image as a whole. I really have no idea if that’s true or not, but there’s no doubt that there are certain fundamental differences in how the two cultures look at the graphics in games (much less look at gameplay). It also makes me wonder what Blizzard has done that appeals so strongly to both Westerners and Easterners in terms of visual style. I won’t presume to guess, but it’s an interesting thought to think.

I still remain most interested in text based games actually, and worlds that allow their participants to have a high degree of involvement in shaping them. I like worlds where the users can create their own objects and spaces, and script or otherwise dictate behaviors. And I have always been more interested in the overall relationships between elements in the virtual worlds than the details. The relationships between the virtual worlds and and real world are interesting too. Like the moves that some of the gaming companies have made to expose stats in their online systems via web interfaces. I’ve yet to spend much time in Second Life, I would probably disappear completely from public life if something like that happened. Second Life doesn’t have a Linux client do they? That would majorly rock.