Managing your “Alt”

A good friend of mine Heleno Nishi has admitted that she has an alternative avatar/character (or simply alt). I do as well; actually I have several of them. The topic of alts is quite fascinating and can also become a quite tempered discussion. Dusan Writer explores many of the ideas about alts in a recent post (and there is a nice comment as to the con of alts from Prokofy Neva, which seems to sum her feelings about alting) but I feel that we’re really not delving into the real core of alting. Creating an alt is really defining a new role for a person; take a look at the reason to create an alt in World of Warcraft. In WoW, I have several rouges, a warrior, and a ranger, each alt is different, each one does different things, and in the guilds I’m in, each alt performs different roles. Having an alt creates a different role for that person; much in the same way in the non-digital real world we have different roles. Continue reading

MMO World populations and predictions

I was reading the blog of my good friends at Pure West Documentaries about Guild Wars reaching the population of 3 million, and soon after at 3pointD there was news about one of the companies within Eve Online beginning to sell shares to players. I begun to wonder what is next. With these virtual worlds all allowing different reenactments of things you can do offline, such as retaining your intellectual property, buying shares in companies, bartering and using microeconomic systems to influence the world around you, what is next for these worlds to accomplish? Are there going to be major NFL, NBA franchises for each game? (Imagine the thought of the World of Warcraft Orcs going against the Second Life Prims at the 2196 NBA Finals). If you look at some of the major MMO’s populations; Second Life at 2 million (about the size of Houston, TX); Guild Wars at 3 million (slightly bigger than Chicago, IL); World of Warcraft = 7 million (slightly smaller than New York City, NY), this idea of the Internet becoming a series of metaverses that you can easily communicate, travel and participate in from one to another is slowly becoming a reality. All of this thinking has lead me to begin to make my predictions of the upcoming year.

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The Blank Canvas

Some time ago I had a conversation with a new friend concerning a problem I had at the time. She made the comments that when entering Second Life, “I’m completely new and have no idea about anything. I’m a blank canvas for your problems see.” The fact that the virtual world acts as a clean slate for any problems, debt, or lack of fame makes worlds like Second Life any more interesting. If your not famous and pretty in real life, you can be in a virtual space. If you want power and wealth, all you have to do is raid more in World of Warcraft. When entering virtual worlds, your virtual world birthday speaks nothing of your RL knowledge, yet a lone knowledge of anything else. You are based on what you have done within that world. It’s a clean slate, a starting from scratch, and quite interesting…