The folks from Linden labs had a session about giving the users creative control and ownership. Cory Linden did the talk. He pointed out how many SL-ers create stuff and write scripts - even tho the script language was very difficult to use.
I really liked when he described how a user figured out how to make a kite - and the developers had to go ask the user how they did it.
Philip Rosedale - head of LL - had one of hte keynotes on Monday. It's gotta be a scray position right now - do away with subscription revenues, give away basic accounts and hope people convert to property owning accounts that cost money each month. I think he said they take a little cut out of the linden buck exchnages.
And - in the other MOnday keynote - Jesper Juul talked about goal less games - Ithink SL might fall into that category. They hav eto have lots of things and lots of actions - the user creates those "nouns" and "verbs" anyway they want. and the more combinations that are possible the better. I need to read his book Half-Real
He pointed out that GTA and The sSims have some things in common - including that both are playable as goal-less games - you can just wander around GTA - practicing your bike skills, driving to see scenery - with no penalty. You sort of make your own goals. He talked about how he wanted his Sims avatar to eat a lot - but instead the kitchen caught on fire and his avatar went kind of crazy so that the doctor came. He "failed" nominally since the avie didn't eat as much as he wanted, but the failure was interesting. A lot to think about in his speech.
then - as my students tell me - it's weird to try to define games - they just are and ya know them. Maybe that's true. Gonna make for an interseting final exam question.