Richard Bartle


Richard Bartle

Richard Allan Bartle (born January 10, 1960, in England) is a British writer and game researcher, best known for being the co-author of MUD, the first multi-user dungeon. He is one of the pioneers of the massively multiplayer online game industry.

Life and career

Bartle received a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the University of Essex, which is where he created MUD along with Roy Trubshaw, in 1978.

He lectured at Essex until 1987, when he left to work full time on MUD (known as MUD2 in its present version). Recently he has returned to the university as a part-time professor and principal teaching fellow in the Department of Computing and Electronic Systems, supervising courses on computer game design as part of the department's degree course on computer game development.

In 2003, he wrote "Designing Virtual Worlds", a book about the history, ethics, structure, and technology of massively multiplayer games.

Bartle is also a contributing editor to "Terra Nova", a collaborative blog that deals with virtual world issues.

Bartle did research on player personality types in massively-multiplayer online games. In Bartle's analysis, players of massively multiplayer online games can be divided into four types: achievers, explorers, socializers and killers. This idea has been adapted into a popular online test generally referred to as the Bartle Test. [RPGDot, "You Shuffle, I'll Deal," http://www.mmorpgdot.com/index.php?hsaction=10053&ID=951] The test is very popular and scores are often exchanged on popular MMORPG forums, or networking sites.

He presently lives with his wife, Gail, and their two children, Jennifer and Madeleine, in a village just outside Colchester, England.

Bartle as a Player of MUDs and MMOs

Bartle is often criticized in relation to the way he plays MMOs, because he has said that he does not find them fun in the same way as regular players. He maintains that the result of being a designer is that he cannot look at a game in terms of "just fun", instead finding that he sees the game in terms of the art of its design. This leads many people to criticize him, saying that he cannot possibly design a game as well as someone who actually enjoys playing. However, in truth it is merely a different kind of enjoyment, akin to a magician who goes to watch another magician's show; he knows how all the tricks work, but enjoys the execution and mechanics nonetheless. Extending this analogy, a magician can invent new tricks all the better "because" of his different perspective.

Awards

* International Game Developers Association "First Penguin Award", at the 2005 Game Developers Choice Awards, for his part in creating the first MUD.

Works

* "Spellbinder", 1977, a pencil and paper game also known as "Waving Hands", first described in Bartle's fanzine "Sauce of the Nile" [http://www.gamecabinet.com/rules/WavingHands.html] [http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/spellbnd.htm]
* MUD, 1978, the first multi-user dungeon [http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/spellbnd.htm]
* [http://www.ludd.luth.se/mud/aber/mud-history.html "Description of the creation of MUD"] , November 15, 1990

Books

* "Designing Virtual Worlds", 2003, New Riders Pub. ISBN 0-13-101816-7
* "In Sight", 2007, Not By Us Pub. ISBN 0-9556494-0-0
* "In Flames", 2007, Not By Us Pub. ISBN 0-9556494-1-7

References

External links

* [http://mud.co.uk/richard/ Richard Bartle's website]
* [http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/ Richard Bartle's blog]
* [http://terranova.blogs.com/ Terra Nova collaborative blog]
* [http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=40592 Sci-Tech Today] , January 4, 2006, "Inside the Underground Economy of Computer Gaming"
* [http://archive.gamespy.com/dreamers/bartle/ GameSpy interview] , October 27, 2003
* [http://www.gamerdna.com/bartle.php Bartle Test] , the MMORPG personality analyzer
* [http://www.gamezombie.tv/?page_id=201 GameZombie.tv] , Videotaped Discussion of Hero's Journey with Lee Sheldon (writer)


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