The strange tale of Runescape's Communist republic

In 2007, a group of players in Runescape -- once billed as the world's most-played massively multiplayer game -- declared a Communist republic on Gielinor's Server 32, amid a revolution that saw 5,000 characters killed off in the fighting. Read the rest

Lawrence Lessig on designing a corruption-resistant democracy for a virtual world

Lawrence Lessig (previously) has spent years articulating the case against corruption of the political sphere (and has written a superb book on the subject); now he's helping to design the political framework for Seed, a multiplayer game "in which players must collaborate (or compete) to rebuild society on a new, untamed planet." Read the rest

Touring the haunting ruins of abandoned Second Life university campuses

Second Life is many things, but among them is an attempt to build a virtual world that works more like the web (where anyone can add a site or a page) than a finished product that can only be modified by the corporation that manufactured it. Read the rest

Epic Games is suing a 14 year old for making a cheat tutorial and his brilliant mother is PISSED

Epic Games makes the wildly successful multiplayer free-to-play game Fortnite, which is the locus of a pitched battle between players and publisher over game-mods, especially cheat-hacks that give unfair advantage to some players. Read the rest

EVE Online doublecross is biggest in game history, blowing up $20K+ worth of game assets

EVE Online ("spreadsheets in space") is an empire-building game that allows players to move real cash in and out of the game, a wrinkle that's spawned massive Ponzi schemes, a profitable espionage industry, and massive in-game wars, but even by the game's own bizarre standards, this week's "Judgement Day" attack is world-beating. Read the rest

All the Second Life rabbits are doomed, thanks to DRM

Every Ozimal digirabbit in the venerable virtual world Second Life will starve to death (well, permanent hibernation) this week because a legal threat has shut down their food-server, and the virtual pets are designed so that they can only eat DRM-locked food, so the official food server's shutdown has doomed them all. Read the rest

Steve Bannon sunk $60M of Goldman Sachs' money into a failed World of Warcraft goldfarming scheme

I missed this story when it was published last Labor Day, but hey: when Steve Bannon was you know, a regular joe working for a scrappy, much-loved, all-American firm called Goldman Sachs, he directed a $60m investment in a company called Internet Gaming Entertainment, which was a marketplace for buying and selling World of Warcraft gold, ground out of the game by botmasters and sweatshop gold-farmers. Read the rest

Augmented Reality is a Massively Multiplayer Online world

I’ve said this before, but in the wake of the viral success of Pokémon GO, it needs to be said again. Augmented reality is just a virtual world, an MMO, a MUD even, with all of the same design issues, plus a few new ones.

The Warcraft movie is breaking box-office records... in China

The movie is tanking in the US, thanks to dismal reviews, but it had a $46M opening day in China, the best-ever midweek opening box-office in Chinese film history. Read the rest

Online casino bankrolls largest-ever, ruinously expensive war in Eve Online

Eve Online ("spreadsheets in space") is the infamously intricate massively multiplayer space trade/conquest game where real cash can be exchanged for in-game currency , making the battles fought there consequential in a way that sets it apart from other games. Read the rest

Blizzard bans 100,000 Warcraft players

They were all running mods that let them automate away the tedious grinding that is so integral to the way that MMOs incentivize players to devote thousands of hours to their products. Read the rest

Own original art from In Real Life!

Jen Wang, the artist and writer who co-created the New York Times bestselling graphic novel In Real Life with me, is selling off her original art from the book. Read the rest

UK launch of In Real Life at Orbital Comics, London, Nov 12

I've just come back to the UK from my US tour for In Real Life, the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Jen Wang and I made; I'll be launching it in London at the incomparable Orbital Comics, near Leicester Square, on the evening of Weds, 12 Nov. Read the rest

Excerpt from In Real Life, YA graphic novel about gold farmers

In Real Life is the book-length graphic novel adapted by Jen Wang from my short story Anda's Game, about a girl who encounters a union organizer working to sign up Chinese gold-farmers in a multiplayer game. Read the rest

Announcing "In Real Life": graphic novel about gold farming, kids and games

Yesterday, FirstSecond formally announced the publication of In Real Life, a graphic novel about gaming and gold farming for young adults based on my award-winning story Anda's Game, adapted by Jen Wang, creator of the amazing graphic novel Koko Be Good. Jen did an incredible job with the adaptation.

Kotaku conducted a Q&A with Jen and me about the book and its themes, and lavishly illustrated it with art and panels from the book: Read the rest

Death Knight Love Story: torrentable Warcraft fan-movie starring Brian Blessed, Joanna Lumley & others

Hugh Hancock writes, "'Death Knight Love Story,' is a World of Warcraft-based machinima fanfilm [ed: machinima is a form of animation made using video-game engines]. It was made using full 'Avatar'-style motion capture (using the same tech as X-Men First Class), with a score composed by a BAFTA nominated composer and voiced by Hollywood stars!" Read the rest

Chinese World of Warcraft crime-boss sentenced to two years

The leader of a clan of Chinese Warcraft fences has been sentenced to two years in prison and been fined $8,000 for buying stolen World of Warcraft logins, then logging into the accounts and selling off all their virtual gold and assets. They reportedly attacked 11,500 accounts and netted $10,800. Read the rest

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