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Designing Virtual Worlds by Richard A. Bartle

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Chapter 3. Players

KEY TOPICS

  • Who Are These People and What Do They Want?

  • Player Types

  • Other Categorizations

  • The Celebration of Identity

  • Anonymity

  • Role-Playing

  • Masquerading

  • Community

  • Influence Through Design

The real-life human beings sitting at a computer and accessing a virtual world are its players. Players are distinct from the objects within the virtual world over which they exercise control; these are characters.

The difference between players and characters is absolutely fundamental to virtual worlds. Characters are conduits that enable players to act and interact with the world itself and with other players. Characters exist only within the virtual world; the decision to enter that world and to remain in that world is entirely the preserve of players. ...

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