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Welcome! I am teaching law at St. Petersburg State University and engaged in legal practice with the international law firm Dentons. Major part of my research is connected to virtual worlds and massive multiplayer online games (a broad field which includes Internet law, video game law, virtual law and game studies). My legal practice is focused on providing support to computer game companies. This interest derives from my passion for computer games which I consider as one of the most important cultural artifacts ever created. Please note that this blog conveys my private opinion which is not necessarily shared by any organisations I am associated with. For more formal and detailed introduction please visit my website arkhipov.info which serves more as a 'business card'.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ways To Share Knowledge

Modern MMORPG Players are spoiled by popular World of Warcraft tools to gather, share and search information about the world (Wowhead, Wowpedia). 

It was surprising for me to find another solution elaborated by the community to keep the record of collective research efforts (which effectively this activity is) while I was travelling in Norrath.

This also may be useful for those who are also new to Everquest 2. 

There are no default maps of the instances (at least for my current level 40), and the main zones maps are not detailed enough. Furthermore, we are spoiled by various quest helper systems, but not all of the Everquest 2 zones support the map markings (the "old" ones don't)! At certain stage it becomes annoying.

EQ2WIRE is a really good resource, EQ2i is not bad, but window hopping for map checking is not the right way.

The solution is the EQ2MAP addon.

The autoupdater may be downloaded from EQ2Interface, it is really easy to manage and it works fine. It will bring a small and well-designed launcher which will update necessary files, and afterwars run the standard EQ2 launcher.

This addon works as a built-in-game map/database which is maintained and updated by the players who submit their maps and points of interest, and leave comments. 

The fact is that this is not just a map, but a community tool for collaborative research of a virtual world, and it must be quite interesing from many academic standpoints. Sociology, for instance.

And an academic heart dances with joy, as these tools may be sorted by various criteria, such as how they are organized. 

By this point we have:
  • Online databases like Wowhead;
  • Built-in addons, EQ2MAP is definitely one of the best.

Besides this, my memory suggests two more kinds:
  • Offline databases, a good example would be the one for Ragnarok Online;
  • Searchable in-game community boards + extensive help system with very fast updates. I have seen this in Aardwolf MUD. At first I was disoriented - this MUD has completely no forums. But then I figured out that there simply is no need of forums, all information may be found within the game.

And let me stress the important point - these are not just some tools to make players' life easier. More than that, these are the forms of keeping the record of collective research efforts.

Is there anything else which can be described as a "community tool for collaborative research of a virtual world" or in similar terms?