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Fan Faire Blog, Part One

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SOE Fan Faire Blog

News Editor Jon Wood files this report from Atlanta

Well, I arrived at the Sony Fan Faire a bit late today (Wednesday), due to some brutal travel issues. Still, I managed to head on down to the “meet and greet” that kicked off the event. Held at one of the hotel’s resultant/bars, it was an interesting time to get to sit down and just talk to people.

It’s an interesting blend of people who are here at the event. Of course, you have Sony’s employees, who are very approachable and friendly. It was more of a party atmosphere than anything else, and that seemed to set the tone as the Sony people mingled and chatted with players and members of the press.

Speaking of players, I spent the evening mingling and talking to them. We talked about a number of different issues that are affecting MMORPG players, no matter what game they’re playing. The issue of the secondary market, for example, came up a number of times in general conversation. The overall mood that I noticed here is that players are against it. A number of people told me that they had never, and would never make use of SOE’s Station Exchange, EBay or any leveling / gold-selling services. Some went so far as to express their discontent with those who do, calling it “cheating”.

I think that what surprises me most here is the wide variety of age and gender. There are men and women here of all ages, giving what I think is an honest representation of who exactly plays these games. For me, it puts to rest the idea and the stereotype that only young men play MMORPGs. The enthusiasm that I have seen, from everyone here is a testament to the diversity of the MMORPG community.

Tomorrow, the summit starts. I’m looking forward to attending, and finding out what people have to say in the EverQuest II sessions. For now, I must sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.

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Jon Wood