Grockwel’s latest entry reminded me to start a list for the plugins being developed for World of Warcraft, which sound strikingly similar in a lot of ways to many of the Asheron’s Call plugins developed – many of which used XML backend to drive anything from an automated buffing sequence to reading the packets in order to allow users to “see” far beyond their avatar’s range.

I’m not currently playing WoW (that would be a dangerous timesuck, however tempting it is – especially after loving the beta test), but I certainly want to keep track of these things, since I’m trying to wrap up that section of my dissertation sometime… this … lifetime.

As Geoffrey’s son points out – these kids of plugins can rapidly change the way the game is played far beyond any empowerment given to players in terms of “storyline agency.”

These were all things I examined in my paper for AoIR in 2003 and have subsequently been incorporated into my dissertation. Hopefully I can live vicariously through others’ virtual lives in the more recent MMoRPGs.


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