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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Aug 13th 2010 11:34AM (Unverified) said

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Seriously?! What has this guy done in the last 10 years that makes him a "legend" other than pontificate and create controversy? I know the "academics" will disagree with me but do the majority of actual game developers (and players)?

Posted: Aug 13th 2010 11:50AM Its Utakata stupid said

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Justin Olivetti wrote:

"They specify Bartle's co-creation of MUDs and his 2003 book Designing Virtual Worlds as the key reasons why he deserves to be named a capital-L Legend."

This is not to say I like the guy...just answering your question. :)
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Posted: Oct 13th 2010 2:41AM Noteamini said

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what has Thomas Edison done for the past... 100 years to improve lighting our home?

Dr. Bartle practically co-founded the ideas of MMORPG as we know it. just because he did not directly participated in making of MMO, doesn't mean the MMO we see today aren't evolved from his vision. you might think making MMORPG is common sense, just like putting electric current through resistors to produce light, but that isn't the case if the idea wasn't founded.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2010 2:48AM Noteamini said

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not mentioning his interviews were very insightful. you never know if some developer will get inspired by one of these seemingly boring "papers". it's the idea that's important, ideas that's in these "pontificate" and "controversy" that will be the back bone of brilliant games.
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Posted: Aug 13th 2010 11:59AM (Unverified) said

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I sort of feel the same way.
Yes he made maybe the first MUD back in 1980 but...aside from a lot of academics and some supposed consulting (which suspiciously is never brought out to the public so no one can really say) I don't see a whole lot of contribution to MMO's or gaming.

I'm not very clear on what exactly he is a legend of? He made a P&P game in 1977 (Spellbinder)...Gary Gygax made D&D in 1974 which DID alter the course of gaming, his didn't...
The MUD well...I don't know what influence, if any, it had on anything aside from MAYBE being the first. Kudos for that.

And he wrote a couple of books...which many actual game designers have.

IMHO, as much as I hate to admit it, Lord Brit (Richard Garriott) had far, far more influence on computer gaming development then this guy ever could hope to have.
For petes sake he made up the term MMORPG and named the genre...

Posted: Aug 13th 2010 1:21PM BaronJuJu said

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I have to agree with Torak, I'm at a bit of a loss to see what exactly earned him this title. Besides the co-creation of a MUD many years ago and a book nearly a decade old, what else has he done to contribute to "Online gaming?"

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Posted: Aug 13th 2010 11:57PM Graill440 said

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Simple politics, he actually means nothing to the rest of us but to his paid buddies he means support in their world, again, nothign to ours, oh and Gary is passed, he isnt.
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Posted: Oct 13th 2010 2:58AM Noteamini said

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i have to disagree.
what make him a legend is the fact he is first. i don't know if any of you saw that evo 4G commercials, but it's just as it says: "first opens up doors." MUD might not seem like much to you, but Ultima Online might very well base on the idea behind MUD(playing games online with others). it might not seem evident to us who were born into the idea of gaming online, but it's really the simple ideas that opens doors. first air plane flew for a mere 12 seconds, Alan turning never even saw a digital computer, but dare you say they were not legends? can you say they had no contribute over modern aviation or computing?
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Posted: Aug 13th 2010 12:26PM (Unverified) said

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Well. I see that's not common knowledge among players, so I think some MMO developer should come here and answer your questions : ).
MUDs were really first MMO games, and many MMO engines started as MUD-like systems. If I remember well, Turbine developers said exactly that on ddo.com forums.

Posted: Aug 13th 2010 1:57PM Castin said

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Whoa, I was sure that guy was either Alex Lifeson or Joey from Full House.

Posted: Aug 13th 2010 8:33PM (Unverified) said

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Heh--while on the one hand I can see the dislike, asking what Richard Bartle has done for MMOs, is like asking what William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain did for modern computing (answer: They invented the transistor). Simple answer--yeah, he may not have been showy or up front like Garriot was (who I agree *also* deserves the honor), but if it weren't for his start, it's possible we wouldn't *have* MMOs as they exist now. Ah well--the 'Yeah, but what have you done for us *lately*?' views will probably rule the roost anyway.

Posted: Aug 14th 2010 3:38AM (Unverified) said

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Not to get quarrelsome with you Chris but he was hardly the only guy working on one at the time. Its silly to even suggest MMO's would not have come to be without him. Like I said, he wasn't the only one working on one, just the first to finish.

He was the first to finish and in a race that's a fine way to judge things. Garroitts Ultima games had more more impact...and he was like 16 or 17 years old when he made the first one (I forgot the name).
But sure, if we want to make him a "legend" because he was the first to finish a MUD and not really do anything else of any real substance since...I guess that's fine.
It's not "lately" ..it's "what else have you done?" Sort of like the guy who played football in high school and tries to ride that glory the rest of his life...
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Posted: Oct 13th 2010 3:08AM Noteamini said

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@torak
is it silly to suggest electrical light will be very different if wasn't for edison? i mean it's just current through resistor dissipating energy. is it silly to suggest aviation would be different if wasn't for wright brothers? it's just air pressure generating lift. there were tons of other people working on the same thing, but they are the one to successfully accomplish it. then others modeled their innovations based on their ideas. what seems like simple ideas... even common sense are not so before they were invented.

of course Richard Garry also deserve an honor like this, but its definitely not unjustified to award it to the founding father of MMO.
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Posted: Aug 14th 2010 6:58AM (Unverified) said

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From www.dictionary.com:

leg·end /ˈlɛdʒənd/ –noun
1. a nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical.
...
7. a person who is the center of such stories: "She became a legend in her own lifetime."

I co-wrote MUD in 1978, nearly two decades before UO appeared. You don't care about that any more than the 20-years-from-now equivalents of you will care about Richard Garriott. That's kinda the point of legends, isn't it?

Richard

Posted: Aug 14th 2010 11:43AM Valdamar said

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As far as I'm concerned you deserve this award for being a pioneer in the massively multiplayer industry and for all your research into the Explorer/Achiever/Socialiser/Killer player types, which I know have influenced a lot of MMO designers just from their comments during development in beta tests I've been in.

I'm sure Richard Garriott, or maybe Brad McQuaid, will be shoe-ins for this award in the coming years - however, unlike you, they have high-profile commercial failures tarnishing their names (Tabula Rasa and Vanguard) and you were developing massively multiplayer worlds decades before they were - for those reasons I think you deserve this inaugural award far more than they do. If they are due to receive this award in future then they can follow you chronologically in the ordering, just like they did in the industry itself.

Congratulations on your award.
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Posted: Aug 16th 2010 4:33PM (Unverified) said

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Richard, or anyone else, can you tell me if that presentation (as viewed in the picture above) is readable online at all? I'm particularly intrigue by your thoughts on culture. Thanks.

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