The Myst Uru MMO world is one of a small group of games that have been taken over and run by the fans. Most MMO’s have the games creator in control of the game. Fans often unite again the management. But what happens when the management is the fans? Who then really controls the game? Which fan is it?
Many in the Myst Uru world think the guilds are about controlling the fan community. I have never believed that. I’ve never thought it was possible. But, many do. I think the fans are more in control and vote with their participation. Whatever they support and participate in is what appears to be running the show, keyword being appears.
So, where are the fans? What are they doing and who is in charge? A comment was made to me the other day, “I hear you are in charge of the ECR&D* now?” My answer was, about as in charge as anyone can be of anything Uru related. I know the participants of ECR&D can move on at any time. There is no real control.
It is really hard to say how many fans there are and what they are doing. Cyan Words, Inc., the authors of Myst Online Uru Live, probably has the best information and they aren’t saying. We can see the number of people signed up in the MO:UL forum, about 13,629 as of this writing. Some number of those are duplicates from lost ID/passwords, changed email addresses and those wanting alternate names for whatever reason. There were 96 new signups in March 2009 and about 250 since the beginning of 2009. There is no easy way to tell how many are active. A hundred or so regular posters is the number tossed around. But, who knows if it is even close to accurate.
In Second Life it is easy to tell how active a group is and how many members there are. The numbers are available in Group Information. So, here are some trivia numbers.
D’ni Refugees: 455 members of which 105 (23%) are probably lost or at best inactive as they have not logged on since the end of 2007. Those that have not logged on between January and March 31, 2009 bring it to about 217 (47%). So, that leaves 238 that have been on in the April, last 5 days or 52% are active.
Explorers’ Community: 312 members of which 46 (14%) have not logged on in 2009. There are 120 (38%) that have not logged in since 3/31. So, there are 192 active in the last 5 days or about 62%.
Myst Online Explorers: 484 members of which 48 (10%) have not logged on since 2007, 168 (35%) not since the end of 2008. Giving us 316 active in 2009 or about 65% active. Considering this is the old GameTap group that is pretty good.
If we say there are 300 active members at MO:UL forums that would be about 2% active members. I can speculate that tells us something. I think mostly that virtual worlds are more popular than forums. The more socially gregarious may have migrated to other virtual words and that could account for the higher level of participation. But, nothing really solid.
I find it somewhat reassuring that only something like 10% to 23% stopped being active in 2007. The way I figured it the 36% not active in April 2009 is a bit severe. But that leaves 2/3’s of the core group active.
Next consider that many of these people are the same people. Within SL there probably are not 455+312+484=1,251 fans. It is likely more like 500 to 600 with 200 very active and 300 active. Many of those in SL post at MOUL. Many in THERE, EVE, WoW, GW are also in SL and post at MOUL. So, I think it fair to say no one really controls this group of people. They participate wherever and how ever they choose.
Do you think Myst Uru fans can be controlled by the guilds?
*ECR&D = Explorers’ Community Research & Development – a Second Life Group engaged in learn SL technology and using it to push the building and creative envelop.
Update: I did some checking and there is a high level of overlap among these groups. I only checked a small sample but it looks like between 80% and 90%.