Who are you?
A Little Background
Since 1997 I have been known Online as Magyar Republic. I got my start in Ultima Online as a blacksmith on the Napa Valley server and holder of a few choice properties to the west and north of the Britannian capital city of Britain. From the onset I was very engaged in online games. The thought of playing a product socially with a multitude of other people was what drew me in. But the watching the relationships between various players kept me interested.
Since then I have been involved in various products, from EverQuest and Asheron’s Call to Darkfall Online. Currently I play Entropia Universe, a product featuring a Real Cash Economy where the PED or Planet Entropia Dollar is fixed to the value of the US Dollar at a rate of 1 USD to 10 PED. I’m not however, playing for the money. I’m playing because this is probably one of the deepest MMORPG’s I have ever seen, and I am interested in what the limits are of this particular technology both in terms of development and in individual player customization.
Why does this interest me?
In 2010 I founded a company called Virtual Reality Consumer Advocates. It’s primary purpose is to help inform users what MMORPG’s, or for the old folks in the crowd Virtual Reality and what it is doing for others and can do for them. Companies like SUN Microsystems regularly have meetings in spaces that only exist in cyberspace. Universities like Yale and Duke have class sessions taught by non-corporeal synthetic professors, and attended by student avatars. In short, Virtual Reality is growing. And its growing fast. As of the time of this writing 7.8 Billion Dollars in trade has been estimated to be occurring in cyberspace every year.
Doing Business in Online Games
Now let’s go back to this particular project. This project is my attempt to illustrate to people what can be accomplished in Virtual Reality. For me it’s not just an art gallery. It’s a case study. I am hoping that one day the contents of this blog will serve others as one of many references, alongside Edward Castronova’s “Synthetic Worlds” and Julian Dibbel’s “Play Money” teaching people how Virtual Reality took hold of the populace in the early 21st century and where that led.
The Castle Blog is an attempt to do legitimate business. For all legal purposes it is an extension of my private enterprise, Tech Soap. I will keep an account of records. I will report to the IRS any money I have earned. I will become a virtual purveyor of art and artistic expression in cyberspace.
I may make the reputations of a few people while I’m at it — if they’re both talented and lucky!
I will share with all of you how things progress here, and what strategies I have both succeeded at and failed at. I will also share with you the talents of some great people. I’m sure they will appreciate your interest in their work.
See you in-game!Edward Stanaway Executive Director – Virtual Reality Consumer Advocates Owner – Tech Soap Creator – Castle Blog