Field notes weekly #12


This is a weekly update on my progress to document the history, perspectives, and narratives of the metaverse. For more on the contents and structure of the book, please see “Structuring my field notes“.

Current book word count: 88,286

Writing

I wrote a lot about the Web 2.0 / Webified Metaverse era, which really are feel-good chapters for me. I think back fondly at this time, remembering the good vibes, the positive outlook on the Web, the collaboration, the barcamps and so on. And it’s interesting to look back where we were right about things, and where we went wrong.

I also spend more time on the chapter for Entropia Universe. I really think EU is similarly important to the overall metaverse story as Ultima Online in that both tried very ambitious things, of which many failed. But these failures resulted in many best practices that are still valid today. If all things go well, there will also be a surprise interview in regards to Entropia Universe in the book.

I still didn’t get to updating the meta-information on the blog. Maybe this week is a good opportunity, as I’m focusing on interviews instead of writing.

Talking

Three big interviews this week. I hope I can be more open about them in the coming weeks after I know how they went.

Reading & Watching

“True Ownership” – The Game Economy Trilemma” by Catalin Alexandru

This is a fascinating hypothesis by Catalin Alexandru, a well-known behavioral game economist.

“This is the issue that has kept game economies built around secondary markets from exploding into mainstream gaming so far despite considerable investment most infamously from Blizzard and most recently from the glut of Web3 game startups riding the 2021 NFT craze  like Axie, Sandbox, Decentraland & co. What makes it so hard to overcome is the fact that under the “true ownership” idea that launched a thousand Discords, both audiences and companies want a system that achieves three separate goals, any two of which are contradictory to the remaining one.”

Lost Garden

Back when I worked in and around the games industry I read Daniel Cook’s Lost Garden blog religiously. It’s an amazing treasure trove of game design insights, articles, talks and presentations. I recently went through the archives to extract a lot of background information for the book. Still sooooo good 😊


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