It's been percolating though my head while sitting in Tsoghal, that there are, in essence, three different iterations of Uru at work. And all of these iterations have had dominance at one point or another.
D'niverse Uru- This is the Uru concerned with history, lore and story. It started with, and centers, around the D'ni, Atrus, Yeesha, etc. Fans creating story of their own, have this as a starting point and as an anchor.
Community Uru- This is the social network that has built up around Uru, built on the foundations of the community of the earlier games. It is independent of the other two, having existed in cohesive form even without a game to log into.
Virtual Uru- The code, the graphics, the potential for Age Building. This is the foundation for Open Source, and the promise of environment growth.
Cyan started the D'niverse Uru, as manifested through the original Virtual Uru. ALCUGS kept Virtual Uru alive for years, which helped maintain Community Uru, which breathes life into the D'niverse by making story and Ages. None could exist without the other, although they are able to stand alone for extended periods of time.
I'm thinking about how very well rounded and fleshed out Uru can be, if it has all three elements supporting it equally: an enthused community, building stories and Ages, that weave into and around the D'niverse. An Uru that is about Stories(Cyan's and our own) AND Open Source code AND Social Interaction.
There's absolutely room in MOULAgain for all three of these- We've started with the community flooding back into the cavern, and stories starting to emerge of where people have been, and what they've been doing. Stories that are creating seeds of potential Ages for fans to build. There's an intangible, hard-to-describe integrity to Uru that I think can easily be maintained by holding all of these iterations to have value and import.
Loss of that, and risk of becoming a 'free for all', will happen if we slip too far into the "If it ain't Cyan it's crrrappp" OR "If it is Cyan it's crrraaapp" mindset. Neither of those are sustainable for long.
Friday, February 19, 2010
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This really boils down to place, mythos and people. And what else is a culture but those three things?
Good observations! I'm glad to see the Myst community has survived so long, even after new content stopped coming. I wonder if that's typical for other communities.
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