Tuesday, July 22, 2003

The World After Pong

Alex de Jong and Marc Schuilenburg, two deep thinkers from Dutch group Studio Popcorn, have written a scholarly piece concerning a new form of urban development – that of the MMORPG and its contemporaries. Calling this the “mediapolis,” the authors deliberate this post-modern, dislocated city’s function and form and trace its roots to id software, the open-source movement, and games such as Ultima Online and Everquest. That cities (or at least the concept of cities) no longer require a physical space to exist in is an idea that proves fascinating to the authors and should interest any who have participated, in one way or the other, in the creation of an online world that, despite claims to the contrary, resembles our own world as much or more than it does that of the Star Wars Universe or Britannia in terms of social customs and systems of thought. As MMORPG’s mature, these cities will only grow more “real” to their participants and what the authors term the “scenius” -- community development of game worlds as opposed to a single author or company -- will further enhance that reality. Article may be accessed here:

“The World After Pong”

Well worth the read.