Advisory Board

Raphael “Raph” Koster, B.A., M.F.A. reported

With the spread of online games, virtual worlds and services like Google Earth and, people may soon be spending more time, communicating more and shopping more in complex 3D Web environments.
That’s why several dozen of the most influential figures in video game design, geospatial engineering, high-tech research, software development, social networking, telecommunications and other fields gathered here Friday and Saturday for the first Metaverse Roadmap Summit.
While many took issue with the basic premise that an overriding 3D Web will be in place within 10 years, it was clear that most in attendance relished mixing it up as part of an august group that included Microsoft’s Robert Scoble, former Sony Online Entertainment chief creative officer Raph Koster, PARC researcher Bob Moore, online game pioneer Randy Farmer, founder and currently IMVU CEO Will Harvey, and CNET Networks editor at large Esther Dyson.

Raphael “Raph” Koster, B.A., M.F.A. is an American game designer and author, best known for being one of the lead designers of the ground-breaking MMPRPG Ultima Online (winner of Game of the Year), and creative director behind the Star Wars Galaxies series. He previously helped create and write a text-based Multi-User Dungeon called LegendMUD. He just finished a stint as Chief Creative Officer for Sony Online Entertainment.
Raph attended Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, receiving a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in English (Creative Writing) and Spanish in 1992. In 1995, he received a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and became involved with multiplayer games via LegendMUD, where he was known as Ptah. When joining the Ultima Dragons, Raph selected the name Designer Dragon.
He authored Theory of Fun for Game Design, now also available in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. He also authored The Case for Art, The Laws of Online World Design, What are the lessons of MMORPGs today?, On Trust (part I), On Trust (part II), On Trust (part III), A side note: trust, convention, and guild trademarks, The Healing Game, The evil we pretend to do, Are single-player games doomed?, Declaring the Rights of Players, A Grammar of Gameplay: Game Design Atoms, Can Games be Diagrammed?, Why Games Matter, and many poems.
Raph is a charter member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, and a member of the IGDA, ASCAP, and Omicron Delta Kappa. He is also a frequent speaker at game industry conferences such as the GDC, State of Play, and E-3. Music is an important part of his life. He plays acoustic guitar and composes his own material. His first CD, After the Flood is now available!
Read his blog! Read his Computer Games Online interview, CRPG Tavern interview, GameSpot interview, Game Studies interview, interview, LiveWire interview, Mud Connector interview, Naughty Dog interview, O’Reilly Japan Interview, interview (about whether or not online game players would ever find themselves forgetting there was a real world, as in the movie The Matrix), UnderGroundOnline interview, VaultNetwork interview I, VaultNetwork interview II, and Ptah: God of the MUD, an interview done by Laura Mollett, aka Seph.
Read Metaplace: open DIY virtual worlds for everyone.