These are full-blown essays, papers, and articles.
Slideshows and presentation materials from conferences.
Interviews and Panels
Reprints of non-game-specific interviews, and transcripts of panels and roundtables.
Excerpts from blog, newsgroup, and forum posts.
The "Laws of Online World Design" in various forms.
A timeline of developments in online worlds.
A Theory of Fun for Game Design
My book on why games matter and what fun is.
A book I started and never finished outlining the basics of online world design.
Links to resources on online world design.
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On the meanness issue: I take exception to your statement that it just reveals that these people are equally mean in real life. Usually they aren't. The level of meanness we see in virtual spaces approaches the sociopathic in real life. But sociopathy is often casually defined as a total lack of empathy for other human beings. The vast majority of people are not actually sociopathic.
This is what led me to coin the term "virtually sociopathic"--meaning people who cannot seem to reach that level of empathy with others who are sharing a virtual space. It does NOT reflect on their dealings in real life, where they may indeed be thoroughly empathic and caring. Rather, it means that because their inhibitions are lowered by anonymity and perhaps by the lack of physical cues, and because the other people in the environment are more easily objectified, and because they are able to present themselves as a person divorced from their true identity and therefore are better able to engage in actions which their normal persona could not bring themselves to do--they act sociopathic within the virtual context. Without being so really.
(Long parenthetical note: it's long been known that people are less inhibited over the phone than in person, and people are now aware that they are less inhibited in email than on the phone, and I believe they are less inhibited in muds than on email. It's interesting to me that at each stage you lose crucial identifiers of personality for the person with whom you interact: by stages we remove physical cues such as expression, smell, etc; then we lose the voice and its emotional content; then we lose even the unique address and identity and sense of individuality in the person with whom we are interacting. This is not dissimilar to how much easier it is to kill people in uniforms, have a one-night stand with someone you hardly know, act witty and daring at a costume party, or get unbelievably rude with someone on a call-in radio show...)
This leads to an interesting conclusion for mud design--penalties won't solve your playerkiller problem. Helping them gain empathy will.