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Can A Table Stand On One Leg? Critical and Ludological Thoughts on Star Wars: Galaxies (20 Oct 2005)
My frustration in this case is somewhat similar. Does a virtual economy that follows a Pareto distribution or centers on mechanisms of hyper-accumulation make one think of the fictional universe of Star Wars, give one a sense of experiential immersion in a galaxy far, far away? Star Wars the fictional property seems to have wealth and poverty, so perhaps so. However, is the role that players want to play in such a universe, their sense of desired imaginative investment, more about being Uncle Owen and less about being Luke Skywalker? No one comes into Ultima Online planning to play an anonymous serf, and yet, a massive social foundation of serf-like labor ought to be the essence of economic realism in a faux-medieval setting. If Koster is satisfied with a power law distribution of wealth because it is realistic, why doesn’t he also want most players to be explicitly framed as a laboring class within a pyramidal economy? Somebody is doing manual labor down in the spice mines of Kessel, after all.
Article URL: http://gamestudies.org/0501/burke/

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