All passion, none of the cash.
In the beginning of MMOGs, fans were often called upon to provide all sorts of community-oriented support, but as years passed and MMOGs grew in popularity that practice waned and a line was drawn between the fans and the developers. But no more! In his editorial, Cody "Micajah" Bye takes a look at the shift in developer thinking that has brought about a legion of individuals that are as close to a developers as an typical citizen could be. These people are the essence of a new MMORPG term...the fan-dev!
So what is the true definition of a fan-dev? A fan-dev is someone that acts in a way similar to a true MMOG developer without being paid or having the restrictions of a true developer. The most likely place you might see a fan-dev is at a fan-oriented convention or event, where the inner workings of a game aren't necessarily going to garner much attention from the public at large. Fan-devs know a tremendous amount about the game that they're representing, but may not have any technical to speak of. These fan-devs may also work as event organizers or feature consultants depending upon the fan-dev that you're talking to. They are the true "face of the game," and developers have latched onto this idea with a rabid fascination.
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