Peter Ludlow's expulsion from The Sims Online may well be the highest-profile player ban in the history of video games.

His tale of being thrown out of the virtual world by Sims' developer Electronic Arts -- which he maintains stemmed from having exposed the participation of underage players operating in-world brothels on his blog, which was formerly called The Alphaville Herald -- was written up in scores of newspapers and online publications.

Because he knows something about being at the whim of faceless decision-makers at profit-minded gaming companies, Ludlow is a big fan of an emerging concept in massively multiplayer online game circles: the open-source metaverse. Built by independent contributors, the open-source metaverse is an infinitely extensible virtual world with few rules and no oversight from corporate overlords.

Wired News: Gamers Eye Open Virtual Worlds


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