Some academics get all the fun: five members of the Ivory Tower were interviewed by Gamasutra, and their topic was migration in virtual worlds. What's the MMO landscape going to look like in a few years? What about single player games? And why do people give up their level 80 Night Elf to go grind in another playground? Neils Clark digs in with some PhDs and PhD candidates to examine the shift:
I started each interview out with a simple premise: that gamers were moving in tribes. World of Warcraft, in my mind, wasn't the 'king of the mountain' because it was the best world out there, whatever our criteria might be. It was prominent because the right people played it, giving it a kind of social gravitational mass. The social bonds, whether forged in or outside of a game, influenced when gamers would move, and for how long they would stay. Some of these interviews dug deeply into this idea, while others carved out their own intriguing territory.
It's an interesting set of interviews from another side of the gaming world: the people who are eyeball-deep researching this stuff.