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  The MMOG Monkeysphere  
Posted 2005-02-22 by Tony Walsh
I love learning new words. Especially words with "monkey" in them. Enter "monkeysphere", wherein the size of a group a person can reasonably handle--in terms of distinguising individual members and maintaining a sense of responsibility towards those members--is quite small. For monkeys, supposedly, it's about 50 group members. For humans, it's about 150. Anyone outside the limit of one's monkeysphere doesn't really register as a person. That explains why I could care less if you die.

It is this gem that I chipped away from a lengthy but interesting article on entitled "Possibility Space." In the article, author Haemish explains how it doesn't really matter how many players your massively-multiplayer game supports, despite the fantasy that the more players there are, the more possibility there is for exciting interactions to occur. After about 150 people, it really doesn't matter. Furthermore, the more players a game supports, the more uniform the game's elements (such as "instances") become. "In attempting to create worlds that can hold a bazillion people, designers are forcing themselves and their players into more limited possibility spaces," says Haemish. Yes, but what about the monkeys?
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