Academic Papers Hat

These are my full-blown, academic quality papers on the subject of MUDs.
Mortar Board Players Who Suit MUDs, a refereed paper which appeared in Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Journal of MUD Research, June, 1996. This is a local copy of the published version.
Read the background on the paper for its context.
Mortar Board Interactive Multi-User Computer Games, a report commissioned by British Telecom on the state of the on-line multi-player game industry at the time (June, 1990). This is a local copy (in HTML) of the published version.
Read the background on the paper for its context.
Mortar Board MUD Advanced Project Report, an internal memorandum (CSM-73) published in the Department of Computer Science's series at the University of Essex, January, 1985.
Read the background on the paper for its context.
Mortar Board Designing Virtual Worlds, my classic (ahem!) work on the subject without the original formatting but with the errata embedded, 2003 (format: PDF). It's released under a Creative Commons Licence 4.0 BY-NC-ND, so for those who would like to reformat it it's also provided in .docx format.
Mortar Board Pitfalls of Virtual Property, a report written for the Themis Group, April 2004 (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Massively Multihero: Why People Play Virtual Worlds, a refereed paper from CGAIDE, November 2004 (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Newbie Induction: How Poor Design Triumphs in Virtual Worlds, a paper presented at Other Players, ITU Copenhagen, December 2004 (format: PDF).
The associated slides are here.
Mortar Board Making Places, the extended version of a paper written for the book Space Time Play (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Virtual Worlds: Why People Play, a straight-to-the-point description of my 8-types model from Massively Multiplayer Game Development 2 (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Virtual Worldliness, a discussion of what the virtual asks of the real. From The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Why Governments arenít Gods and Gods arenít Governments, a refereed paper which appeared in Special Issue #7 of First Monday, September, 2006. This is a local copy of the published version (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Presence and Flow: Ill-Fitting Clothes for Virtual Worlds, a refereed paper which appeared in volume 10, issue 3 of Techné, Spring, 2007. This is a local copy of the published version (format: PDF).
Mortar Board The Line between Play and Design, a paper presented at The Philosophy of Computer Games conference in Potsdam, Germany, May 2008 (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Alice and Dorothy Play Together, a formal write-up of my Indie MMO Game Developers Conference 2009 presentation. From Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Unrealistic Expectations, which looks at simulation and non-simulation in game worlds. From Ring Bearers: The Lord of the Rings Online as Intertextual Narrative (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Understanding the Limits of Theory, about the uses and abuses of player type theory. From Beyond Game Design: Nine Steps Towards Creating Better Videogames (format: PDF).
Mortar Board MMO Morality, a discussion of some moral issues relating to the implied covenant that game designers have with their players. From Computer Games and New Media Cultures: a Handbook of Digital Games Studies, 2012 (format: PDF).
Mortar Board The Decline of MMOs, explaining how MMOs have expanded to far and are now losing both their core and casual audiences. From International Conference: New Directions in the Development of Creative and Media Industries, June, 2013 (format: PDF).
Mortar Board From MUDs to MMORPGs: The History of Virtual Worlds, a fairly detailed description of the early history of MMOs. From International Handbook of Internet Research (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Special Issue Issues, a light-hearted analysis of the other articles in Psychology of Popular Media Culture volume 4 issue 4 (format: PDF).
Mortar Board Unrealisticness, a refereed paper discussing why players will accept as true some falsehoods they know to be false but not accept others. From Ludology 2(1), 2021 (format: PDF).

Copyright © Richard A. Bartle (
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