“It All Comes Together: Our Players Post In Cretan Linear B!”

Timothy Burke of Terra Nova weighs in on the “Playing the Boards” discussion with some very interesting insights on how to treat MMO boards as a historical record. Not sure how it applies for actual data-mining (the title of his post) but does give some guidelines in how to dispassionately analyze the tenor of a given gaming forum.

In particular, what a developer should be watching for here is the equivalent of Martin Luther’s complaints stuck on the door of a church: a manifesto which may galvanize or persuade players to action, which may mobilize players or transform the way they see the virtual world. It’s not just that the developer-as-sovereign should be concerned about the political impact of such posts, but also that they may contain valuable insights about what the game needs which the developers themselves cannot arrive at independently.