The Decline of Split-Screen Gaming

When Mikey the Gamer got his first Xbox in 2002, he and his friends couldn’t wait to come home after school and fight side by side against the forces of evil. They huddled around his 30-inch CRT television which flickered whenever his mum had the oven on, each of them peering eagerly at their own division of the screen. These were the early days of … Continue reading The Decline of Split-Screen Gaming

EVE Online – Part 2

This post continues from Part 1 last week. A challenge for developers is ensuring players spread relatively evenly throughout their virtual universe. Achieving this revolves around incentives, and opportunities both for fun and progression. EVE’s single persistent universe is in constant danger of being overpopulated in any given area, and thus the developers monitor player density in real time. The total resource count throughout the … Continue reading EVE Online – Part 2

EVE Online – Part 1

For well over a decade, EVE Online developed by CCP Games has boasted one of the largest, most robust, and most complex virtual economies of any game on the market. Operating as a player controlled market, this MMORPG is a closed system run by laissez-faire policy. Well over half a million players coexist in a single persistent universe while competing for wealth and territorial dominance. … Continue reading EVE Online – Part 1

Botting in Virtual Economies

‘Bots’, short for robots, are automated software programs which aid gamers in various ways. Bots are most common in MMORPGs, where they’re programmed to play the game autonomously without human direction, but they can also be used in FPS games for a range of distinct functions. Since the inception of online gaming, ‘botting’ has spread throughout the virtual community. In this post I discuss the … Continue reading Botting in Virtual Economies

The Prisoner’s Virtual Dilemma

The prisoner’s dilemma is a basic piece of game theory which can be applied to virtual economies, particularly in the context of my recent discussion of third party trading sites. I would like to briefly discuss how the prisoner’s dilemma can become a roadblock to gamers’ utility maximisation, i.e. fun, while playing video games. Bear with me, I will first have to explain the prisoner’s … Continue reading The Prisoner’s Virtual Dilemma

Auction Houses – The Diablo Problem Part 2

This post follows on from last week’s article. Please read Part 1 before reading on. Diablo 3 (D3) was Blizzard’s 2012 successor to the wildly popular dungeon crawler Diablo 2, and has been generally celebrated for its fresh take on the genre, and the solutions it brought to many of D2’s problems. Unfortunately, it did not solve many of D2’s economic imbalances. Inappropriate drop rates … Continue reading Auction Houses – The Diablo Problem Part 2

Third Party Trading – The Diablo Problem Part 1

Blizzard’s Diablo series has been one of the most successful games of all time in the RPG genre, and has always been praised for its ‘replayability’ and expansive endgame. While the second and third instalments have each boasted popular and thriving virtual economies, structural cracks eroded the games’ markets and at times, have driven their economies into real peril. The following is the first of … Continue reading Third Party Trading – The Diablo Problem Part 1