An Interview With Richard Bartle at IMGDC 2.0

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this Killer Interview

Dr. Richard Bartle is a professor, writer, game-researcher, and design
theorist who's widely recognized as one of the most influential
pioneers in the massively multiplayer gaming industry. Ten Ton Hammer's
Cameron Sorden caught up with him at the recent IMGDC 2.0 conference to
find out what he's been working on lately and pick his brain about a
topic that's seen a lot of discussion in recent years and which Doctor
Bartle is uniquely qualified to comment on: using MMOs and virtual
worlds for education.

Ten Ton
: A lot of big names in the industry seem to be
MMOG consulting lately. What exactly do you do when you're an MMO

Sometimes, they pay me to go and tell them what they really
know themselves, and they just need someone to give some validation of
what they've got. Other times it's much more interactive than that and
what I'm saying becomes part of the design or an influence [on the
game]. Sometimes consultancy involves having a business plan which
says, "Call in the consultant." I come in, speak to them for a day, two
days—sometimes several days. They all nod, check the thing that says
"The consultant has come in," and they do nothing. Sometimes it's for a
larger, better-organized company that needs a sanity check. Sometimes I
get start-ups that have lots of ideas, but they don't know how to do
particular things and want me to recommend somebody. A lot of those
start-ups are going to fail. That is why I always take payment for my
consultancy and not shares in the company, because shares in a company
that don't go anywhere aren't worth a lot, really. Besides, if they
make a lot of money it won't be anything to do with me—it will be to do
with their business.

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Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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