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Resource Database > In-World Administration
In-World Administration is a category dedicated to Virtual Reality.

In-World administration is a field in its own right really. You are, essentially, a deity as an in-world administrator, ruling supreme over your world. This means you have more responsibility than is probably healthy, especially in a large, commecial world.

Here, we attempt to educate and inform you about the potential pitfalls and hazards your job entails, to prepare you for the worst, and to offer fallback advice when it all seems to go pear shaped.


Redefining PvP (2)

Is PvP a bad activity to have within your world, or could it be a positive force? Could it be that the act you've been campaigning against, and eliminating from your world, is actually the killer draw you've been looking for?

The resources found here, are to help you see the better side of PvP, and to give you a glimpse of how it can be used to great effect, to magnify all experiences within the world.

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Keeping Control of Grief Players
A thorough, well reasoned article on the problem that people who exist just to make other?s lives miserable pose to any online environment. It discusses the common methods for dealing with them, and looks into why many of these are flawed, and what you can do to improve them.

Locally Hosted resource
PvP, Grief PK's, Death, Justice, Player Accountability
Why is PvP a problem anyhow? Are we looking at this from the wrong perspectice? Could PvP really be used to make the experience much more rewarding? Read this for the barest glimpse at the answers.

Law and Justice (12)

Laws are a necessary part of any virtual worldlet. Without laws, and rules, anarchical behaviour soon breaks out, with the worldlet first suffering, then collapsing. In-world laws aren't the only important ones, rules and laws to protect the security of the system itself are equally neccessary.

If the world doesn't have a fair, and just in-world system, the churn rate will be high. Players won't stick around if they feel they have been unfairly treated by the administration.

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And Justice for Some
Whatever the laws of your world are, people are goinfg to break them. As administrator, you need to be prepared to enforce them (or have them enforced by the players). You also need to minimise player objections, and the angst that causes. How? Clearly define, right from day one, what the behaviour tenets are, and what the punishment shall be.

Locally Hosted resource
EverQuest Blamed In Suicide
This article forms a refreshing counter-stance to the hype regarding suicide of a player, one of the much-discussed cases of 2002 - that of Shawn Wooley, who killed himself after playing EverQuest. A connection, or just media Hype? Media Hype.

If you are a gamer, a game developer, a virtual environment provider, a software security professional, or an interested bystander, this book exposes the inner workings of online-game and world security for all to see.

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How to Cheat at Online Games
Not a how-to-crack a MMO, or MUD, but a serious look at the common methods players will use for unfair advantage on the internet, and what you, as the development, and operation staff can do to thwart them.

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If You Don't Like it, Leave!
What do you do when a player just "won't let go"? It's difficult to just idly sit by and say nothing when a player becomes abusive, but what really is the "best" way to handle them?

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Mud Governments
A fascinating, verbose article on the different types of administration found in different virtual world structures, and comparing them to physical governments, with different pros and cons.

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Mudding with Language Barriers
?In a global community, language has no limits and interpretation is sometimes misleading.?

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Online Justice Systems
A look at approaches to player justice in online environments.

Locally Hosted resource
Star Trek: The Original Series, & VR ~ The Squire of Gothos
The Squire of Gothos is very easy to take as the metaphor for the complete control and near omnipotency of running your own VR world - complete with the kind of blooper likely to make. It is also very easy to take as the feeling of helplessness and anger a group of visitors feel when the owner takes liberties with them, whilst there.

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The Cost of Insecurity: Griefing, from Anonymity to Accountability
Griefing, that most heinous of crimes in which the griefer gains pleasure from the misery ofthe victim. It has long been a thorn in the side of virtual environments, but this is the first time the financial and support costs have been considered. To combat it, we may have to lose one of our most treasured possesions - anonymity.

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The Secret Police
The secret police; the key to dealing with cheaters. Player monitoring in achievable forms, statistical representation, and why NOT to close a bug that you are aware a player is exploiting.

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You Were Different When You Were A Player!
An old, old but so painfully relevant article about the disconnect that happens when a participant of a virtual environment, is no longer a participant, but is now an administrator with powers. The old adage about never mixing business and pleasure, was never more true.

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Building a Community (20)

A feeling of community, of truly belonging, is a wonderful thing. Dynamic, rich communities are a joy to behold. However, they are also a lot of work to grow, to nurture, and to care for. Here, we offer to you, a selection of material to assist you in creating vibrant communities your playerbase will love, and wish to partake in.
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2008: A New Vision for Second Life
A technology Review interview of Mark Kingdon, new CEO for Linden Labs as of April 2008. The interview discusses in depth the trendsetting for the Second Life environment, at the beginning of an over-successful VR world's attempt to better its residents' experience.

Linked resource
Captive Audience
A look at retaining playerbase. Eventually it will desert you, be it gameworld, commerce world, social environment. Sooner or later you will start to look dated and they will leave. This article therefore, is all about 'damage limitation' rather than 'cure'.

This book attempts to gather together a range of viewpoints of differing fields to create a holistic picture of whether or not a community that exists in cyberspace can truly be called a legitimate community.

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Creators vs Players
?Setting: A Mud. Two opposites, the players and the creators. The creators code, the players play. But who really deserves who? Do we, as players, expect too much or too little of the creators? And do the creators likewise expect too much or too little of the players??

A great community is truly a wonderous place. So, how do you set one up? How do you go about creating the place that people will come to rely on, that will be seen as a lifeline by some, and a distraction by others?

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Experiments in Low Pressure
A great article for players and developers alike, who are thinking of taking a sabatical, and the courtesy you should show as such, before leaving everyone high, and dry.

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How (not) to puzzle a player
An old Imaginary Realities e-zine article that has lost none of its relevancy with the passage of time. It details six ways to really, really irritate and frustrate your user base in any virtual environment ? gameworld or not ? if you provide puzzles and fail to design them with these problems in mind.

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Imaginary Realities: Strange Bedfellows Society
A reprint mirror of a short, amusing, and still oh so relevant article from the old Imaginary Realities e-zine on why it is never a good idea for a world, for the administrators to be dating one another.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Bring Out the Artist
ere, we stand at the entrance to one of the rooms, just off the main concourse. It deals with resources to help an aspiring artist, as art projects make up a sizeable portion of work in ActiveWorlds. What it does not contain, sadly, is links to or even pictures of, some of the amazing and high profile art projects to use the ActiveWorlds platform.

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Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Enzo Loves You
ActiveWorlds Gate 5.0 launched on November the 26th 2009, in readiness for the launch of ActiveWorlds 5.0 on December the 1st 2009. This is one of the more disturbing images. For, there are eight rooms off of the main concourse, most of which detailing expansion possibilities and newcomer help for ActiveWorlds. Given persistent losses in the userbase, and various political tensions between the users and developers, it seems that there was not enough content to fill all eight rooms, and two of the ones greeting you initially are empty.

Locally Hosted resource
Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Music Appreciation
ActiveWorlds Gate 5.0 launched on November the 26th 2009, in readiness for the launch of ActiveWorlds 5.0 on December the 1st 2009. Here we see one of the rooms off of the main concourse, where the company nods politely to all the independent radio firms that operate within it's platform. Eight platforms are available. To hear the music, just stand in the column-shaped invisible zone on top of each disk, and the music will start streaming, assuming the radio station lives long enough of course. This location brings home another problem the platform is trying to hide - the steady decline of users.

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Losing Players to Responsibility
A short, poignant article on the effects in any game or social VR environment where an individual from the userbase shows promise, and is given more and more responsibility until they feel they are completely out of their depth.

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Management and the Managed
A short article on the delicate balance of control between player/participants and staff. Maintaining control without interference.

Locally Hosted resource
Managing the Participant Viewpoint for greater Immersion
If you run a virtual world, whose premise centres around a form of living or lifestyle significantly different from mainstream society; whether roleplay, persona play, or full blown alternate life, the last thing you desire is for people to enter it, completely ignoring the in-world culture and behaving any way they like.

An online community can take many forms, not just the atypical one. This book draws upon three radically different community archatypes, from the commercial world, from the educational world, and from the hobbyist world. Using these three together, it attempts to explain how you can create your own, grandiose communities.

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Organized Roleplaying Events
Organising even a handful of players into a cohesive, functional group for a roleplayed event is a nightmare for any persistent world. However, if you are not running a gameworld, or alternate life world, but desire a one-shot roleplay event with whoever is in world at the time, you can. Here is how to set it up.

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Rules of Immship
Immortal, yet all too easily forgotten golden rules to observe when you are an administrator of any world, gaming, social, medical or educational. Although rule four is not always applicable, as not every VR is gaming, the spirit of it is still true. With power, comes responsibility, never, ever forget it.

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Setting the mind to work
The sequel to How (not) to puzzle a player, providing several tips on creating good puzzles for a player to solve, in any virtual environment.

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Social Engineering
Social interactions between players are very important for most MMO worlds? after all, the multi-user aspect is one of our big attractions. Maintaining a good level of social interaction is especially important after the world has shipped. Live development is all about keeping your subscribers playing, and a strong social network is amazingly effective in accomplishing that.

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Theories About Players
Nine theories about adverse player / participant behaviour and responses to admin decisions of any world, no matter how benevolent the administration. Be aware of these in advance, lest they creep upon you unawares.