Client: Turner Broadcasting/Gametap
Role: Uru Anthropologist
As “Uru Anthropologist” (the credit I received in the game), I drew from my previous two years’ research studying refugees from the 2004 closure of the Uru: Ages Beyond Myst , and assisted Gametap in a phased process of strategically reconvening players in a test shard to make a market case for the re-release of the game. After successfully bringing 3000 to this test shard, I then helped Gametap and Cyan Worlds to develop a new instantiation of the game, Myst Online: Uru Live (MOUL) that was responsive to the cultural practices that had emerged in the intervening two years. I also helped to support Uru refugees in the virtual worlds to which they had immigrated in grassroots marketing, including instigating the reopening of Second Life’s Uru-themed island as a promotion for the re-release of the game. The project also included ethnographic research and development of a fan community survey, the findings of which were factored into development aspects of the new game. Sadly, MOUL closed after a year of operation, but the work we did during that period contributed to the current open source initiative to turn Uru over to fans for content creation. Visit http://mystonline.com for more info.