Legends of the Industry: An Interview with Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar

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A Conference Call with Leetness

Individuals who have been employed in the industry for decades (and are still at the top of their game) are treated as veritable gaming gods. Last week, Cody "Micajah" Bye felt like he had stumbled into Mount Olympus when he hopped onto a conference call with Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer, two of the minds behind the first avatar-based MMOG, Habitat. Since their work on that game, Chip and Randy have worked in a variety of different cyberspace fields and have discussed their work on Habitat on their ongoing blog, The Habitat Chronicles.
In our first part of the extensive interview, Chip and Randy fill us in on their backgrounds in the industry, their work with MMOGs, and what they think of Raph Koster's upcoming Metaplace project. Enjoy!

I know that Ten Ton Hammer has a focus on the game side of things, but games and social media (or social networking) have all been blending into each other since the whole concept emerged. When we were working on the American Information Exchange (AMiX), there were game design elements throughout the product. However, the game elements are a lot easier to see in a product like Flickr, which is nominally a website about uploading photos, but if you look closely it has reputation systems and all these pieces that make it into a big game. Game mechanics and social media have always been intertwined.

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