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Dana Massey: Regional Segregation

Posted Jul 16, 2009 by Dana Massey

Dana Massey: Regional Segregation

In this week's column, Dana Massey looks at regional services in MMOs. If it's so unpopular, why do they do it? What approaches would make more truly global games work? To find out, he spoke to veteran online game executive Scott Hartsman.

“As online games and internet usage in general has exploded over the past years, people have had more chances to become connected with others across the globe,” said Scott Hartsman, a veteran online games executive. “These are relationships they’ll want to carry into any game they play. Not letting people continue those friendships isn't progress - It's regression, and it’s one more potential barrier to having a game adopted.”

Take my father. Born in the 1950s, the only windows he knows about are on the front of his house. Computers were just never part of his life, but he is, in his own way, a gamer. The man loves chess and his biggest joy is playing people online. Why? To him it’s amazing that the computer lets him play a guy in Russia one minute and a guy in Thailand the next. The man types with two fingers, but he always asks where his opponent is from, and I’m not entirely sure he hasn’t marked them all off on a map somewhere. He even started getting up at obscene hours of the morning so he could play people in even further away places.

Read it all here.

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