[MUD-Dev] "Online migration and population mobility"

Koster Koster
Wed Sep 29 19:27:54 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Koster, Raph=20
> Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 1999 1:31 PM
> To: 'mud-dev at kanga.nu'
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] "Online migration and population mobility"
>=20
>=20
> Found this--it discusses the above topic, with UO, and to=20
> some extent, EverQuest, as a case study. Original link is a=20
> zipped up MS Word file at=20
>=20
> http://cybergeography.hypermart.net/
>=20
> written by Christian Carazo-Chandler.
>=20
> It's quite long, but I can paste it into an email if there is=20
> interest.

I got a couple of requests, so here it is:

--->start quote

Title Online Migration and population mobility in a virtual gaming settin=
g -
Ultima Online.

Outline and Context

The origins of this essay arose from my masterate thesis ' Cyberspace -
another geography - Territories, Boundaries, and Space '
(http://cybergeography.hypermart.net, Carazo-Chandler, 1999). It dealt wi=
th
the function and form of territories and boundaries in an online
environment. Online information ecologies contain a comprehensive system =
of
forms and functions of territory and boundary - from collectivism to
netiquette. The territories that are being developed in cyberspace are
creating their own territorial rights and this is in one way an indicator
for differentiating online spaces. This essay is an extension of the thes=
is
but is focused on a particular online ecology (Ultima Online). Instead of=
 a
broad geographic examination, the focus has turned from territories and
boundaries to population mobility. This research essay is about finding
truth. We know that there are these spaces online, but why and how do peo=
ple
move in them? Do the same geographical principles of population mobility =
in
realspace operate in the setting of an online gaming environment - Ultima
Online? Are there multiple processes of population mobility operating in =
the
same environment? If they are, what are the differences between each othe=
r
and how different are they to those in realspace? Do flows of migration
exist and are new types of flow developing in the Ultima Online shards?
Essentially, geographers believe in the importance of place and how
particular places with their characteristics ' reflect broader demographi=
c
trends to produce particular and locally distinctive permutations '
(Robinson, 1996, pg xiv). What do particular places within the shards
contain that draws people to them or away from them?

Another justification for examining cyberspace as a place for geographic
research is summed well by Hearn.

' A "complex" system view of technology acknowledges that technology evol=
ves
in the context of social processes and forces. In this regard, technology=
 is
no different from any other product of society ' (1998, pg 30).

Cyberspace is well shaped by the people that interact with it and each ot=
her
while online. In this context, cyberspace is social space. But is also a
landscape where people move from one structure to another. I will attempt=
 to
link both these concepts of space together in the essay.

This is an original piece of research. There has been no other research l=
ike
this done before on online gaming environments. Population mobility has b=
een
looked at to a degree - in the number of people visiting websites, who us=
es
the Internet, and the types of information spaces being made available to
visit. So far it has been rather technical - a kind of physical geography=
 in
a cyberspace setting or more appropriately a mapping of cyberspace. So th=
ere
is this gap in the literature. This essay will examine migration theories
and discuss a variety of migratory processes operating within an online
gaming environment. There is no single comprehensive theory that accounts
for all population movement - this research essay will show that there ar=
e
many theories and kinds of migration in operation in Ultima Online - from
urban to rural movements, push/pull factors, and circulation movements.

The first section provides a brief examination into realspace migration
research and theory. How do geographers examine migration in realspace? W=
hat
are the concepts and theories used in trying to develop an understanding =
of
a migration process? The second section discusses the types of population
mobility in the cyberspace setting. The section is intended to provide a
context for the migration patterns and motivations of Ultima Online later=
 in
the essay. The third section examines Ultima Online and the macro
theoretical models of migration and motivational movement. The section wi=
ll
provide types of models that can be used to look at migration in an onlin=
e
gaming environment. These models may be useful in examining other online
gaming environments in the future. The fourth section examines the pacifi=
c
shard. This is where I primarily got my data for the research from - from
fellow players to my own involvement in the environment. The section is
designed to show the experiences had by players who were affected by the
processes of migration. The section provides a description of several of =
the
pictures at the back of the essay. The fifth section provides an account =
for
a new shard that has been created in Ultima Online - the Siege Perilous
Shard. The section provides a micro comparison and contrast with the type=
s
of movement experienced on the Pacific shard. The sixth section details a
comparison between Ultima Online and Everquest migration models, patterns=
,
and motivations. I wanted to know what similarities and differences these
two online gaming environments have. The seventh section is an examinatio=
n
into the methodology I used for examining migration in real and cyberspac=
e.
The last section, section eight, is a conclusion to the essay, which will
basically summarize the major points discussed throughout the research
essay.=20

1. Realspace Migration Research and Theory

Before we can examine human migration in an online setting, it is importa=
nt
to understand how migration is examined and exists in the realspace
environment. Population shifts have been occurring since the beginning of
time. Hunting and gathering societies would often migrate from one locali=
ty
to another in search of resources and of climate. Other reasons have been=
 to
flee from disasters, famine, and territorial conflict by animal species o=
r
by aggressive humans (Cohen, 1996, pg xi).

What is migration? Migration can be loosely defined as a permanent or sem=
i
permanent change of residence.

' No restriction is placed upon the distance of the move or upon the
voluntary or involuntary nature of the act, and no distinction is made
between external or internal migration. Thus, a move across the hall from
one apartment to another is counted as just as much as an act of migratio=
n
as a move from Bombay, India, to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, though, of course, t=
he
initiative and consequences of such moved are vastly different ' (Lee, 19=
96,
pg 17).

Migration can also seen when the individual or group see it that it is
preferable to move rather than to stay and when the difficulties of movin=
g
seem to be more than offset by the expected rewards (Uganga, 1981, pg 31).

' Migration connotes a change of residence, journey to work, types of
boundaries crossed and so on. Migration helps in the diffusion of ideas a=
nd
information, indicates symptoms of social and economic change, and can be
regarded as a human adjustment to economic, environment and social proble=
ms
' (Mandel, 1981, pg 1).

V. Robinson's introduction in 'Geography and Migration' is quite profound.
It provides an excellent overview of the types of geographic research on
human migration and population mobility. Robinson's overview is crucial f=
or
this essay. The types of research he briefly looks at provided me with a
basic understanding of the sort of research that is being conducted in
realspace and an approach that could be used in examining migration and
population movement in cyberspace. Crucial research concepts and themes
discussed in realspace research could well be applicable to a degree in t=
he
online gaming service I wanted to look at. I will only briefly examine th=
e
concepts used in realspace research of human migration. It is recommended
that you use the references in the bibliography to pursue a greater
examination into realspace migration theories and practices.=20

There are three types of geographic research done into human migration.

1. A macro-level description. This can be split into three parts.=20

=B7	The identification of whether discernible flows of migration do
actually exist in reality.
=B7	The search for regularities in these flows.
=B7	The parallel search for regularities in who participates in these
flows.

2. The factors that which generate these flows at the micro-level

               which is often done at the individual decision making leve=
l
or at=20
               the societal level.

	3. Assess the impacts of migration, either on the participants, the
               society, the groups or on the locality from which they hav=
e
moved=20
               to or away from.

(Robinson, 1996, pg xv-xxv).

The Macro-level description approach allows the researcher to understand
migration and population mobility at a societal level. This style of
approach allows for the identification of emergent trends in population
movement and a formation of a base of research. By developing a basic
knowledge of population movement, researchers can then begin to examine t=
he
patterns generated by particular groups. Once this has been done, aggrega=
te
or systemic flows can be compostied. The use of this data can be a helpfu=
l
indicator for other types of movements in a variety of spaces and for pol=
icy
makers in making political and economic decisions (Robinson, 1996, pg xv).

Types of macro scale migration and population flows vary. There are;
inter-regional flows between the economic regions of England and Wales,
movements of people going from rural to urban centers with some return
movement, the flow of movement between the states of the Russian Republic=
,
growth of illegal immigrants entering nations, internal migrations of
refugees within countries, and so on. There are also regularities in
migration flows. There are push/pull factors involved in migrant movement
and migration volumes being directly associated with distance are two
examples of regularities in migration flows (Robinson, 1996, pg xvi-xvii).

There are many distinct population movements - individual vs. contextual
reasons to migrate, rate vs. incidence, internal vs. international
migration, and so on. One distinct population flow that geographers often
examine is the mass rural to urban shift of population. The main concerns
have been the flow of people towards and not away from thickly populated
areas. One reason for this occurrence is that=20

' Migrations are drawn by the magnetism of economic opportunity, which to=
day
is found in the cores of industrial life, in the towns and cities and the=
ir
environments rather than in the open spaces of overseas or colonial lands=
 '
(Forsyth, 1942, pg 3).

In the past, movements and movement specific types such as migration had
been restricted to the movement within inter-regional localities. With th=
e
advent of the industrial revolution, changing local economies, advancemen=
t
of transport technology, and evolving political/social/cultural/economic
moral opinions, new patterns have emerged. The mass rural to urban moveme=
nt
of people is one distinct pattern to emerge from these changes in the
evolving nature of human activity. =20

Migration and population always have an origin, a destination, and betwee=
n
the two, obstacles.

' No matter how short or how long, how easy or how difficult, every act o=
f
migration involves an origin, a destination, and an intervening set of
obstacles '
(Lee, 1996, pg 17).

The Origin/Destination theory is designed to show that universal populati=
on
movement contains locality and preventive measures to new settlement. Whi=
le
rather simplified as a theoretical model, it becomes far more complex whe=
n
applied to specific migrant movements. When used in conjunction with othe=
r
models such as the Push/Pull model, one can begin to develop a comprehens=
ive
understanding of a specific population movement such as migration.=20

Another distinct theory that I will examine is the circular migration mod=
el.
A central theme to the model is the following;

' Migration has had to be broken down into a complex array of subtypes ba=
sed
on the variety of forces stimulating the move, upon the periodicity and
degree of permanent commitment related to the move, and upon, the locatio=
n
of migrants within social structures of both sending and recipient units =
'
(quoted by Abu-Lughod in Chapman et al, 1997, pg 1).

Essentially, internal migration has been conventional defined as a shift =
of
permanent residence from one locality to another but migration is far mor=
e
complex than that. Instead of the one-way transfer, we see people making
many movements that interchange within the landscape. We see people havin=
g a
circular migration within a territory that involves a semi-permanence of
stay - from work, to school, from home, to family home, and so on. This
concept is especially evident in Africa where traveling tribesman would
return to their local communities, regardless of where they had been or f=
or
how long they had gone for.=20

' Yet movements that involve moderately long durations of stay at a
destination do not necessarily eliminate an eventual, and equally
'permanent' return to the places from which they originated ' (Chapman et
al, 1997, pg 1).

The nature of the circulation is that it is a transitory form of populati=
on
mobility that is linked to particular rituals and processes of change. Th=
e
movements are usually short term and repetitive. Circulation is a key
characteristic in movement, it allows for changes in movement. But, on th=
e
other hand, circulation can also be altered due to influences that affect
movement - such as socio-economic changes in localities.=20

Distinct patterns can emerge between population groups from macro scale
research. Research conducted has shown that the propensity for people to
move has declined as the duration of residence increased, but this varied
for different age groups (Robinson, 1996, pg xvii). The process of
gentrification as social class migration provided another distinct patter=
n
between groups. In-movers fitted the stereotypical image of the yuppie wh=
ile
out-movers were typically low class or blue-collar (LeGates and Hartman, =
in
Robinson, pg xvii). Ethnicity is another variable. Robinson's work has
showed how the inter-regional migration patterns of the Asian and
Afro-Caribbean populations differ markedly from those of white population=
s
in the United Kingdom (Robinson, 1996, pg xix).

The next important step in population movement is to determine the causes=
 of
movement. One approach taken by geographers to account for this is the
motivational 'push/pull' factors in movement. Push factors involve
conditions within the current location - examples are lack of employment
opportunities, inadequate health care, forced movement due to conflict, j=
ob
relocation, gentrification, and so on. Pull factors involve locational
characteristics or perceived characteristics that draw migrants to a
specific location - examples can be refugee resettlement, opportunity for
financial advancement, social relationships, a less congested atmosphere,
concentration of similar people, and so on. There are obstacles that can
prevent entrance into the new location - lack of financial resources to
arrive, rejection by residents to new arrivals, physical barriers, and so
on. However, not all people who arrive in their new location will stay. S=
ome
desire to return back to their previous location. Or, others find that th=
e
new location is not up to the standards and find a new place to move to.=20

Another approach to determining the causes is to use and examine the basi=
c
indicators of movement - that being the political, the social, the econom=
ic,
the cultural and the demographic (Forsyth, 1942, pg 40-53). Each of these
conceptual and geographic indicators can be used to present a cause or
motivation of migration. They are also the causes as to why people move.
People can move for economic reasons and thus one way we look at people w=
ho
move is to ask whether economic causes came into affect for them to move.
One example is that the chief motivations for European migration during t=
he
industrial era were economic (Forsyth, 1942, pg 40). One of the reasons w=
hy
they left was that they could make a better living in one of the overseas
countries.  The period was a time of capitalism expansionism - the contex=
t
was economic and the indicator was economic. There may also of been a
political cause - conflict in Europe could have been an indicator as to w=
hy
the left. The number of causes increases with the amount of basic indicat=
ors
of movement you use. Thus one begins to be able to find distinct patterns
and varied reasons for moving. For a more in-depth examination into this
subject area it is recommended that you read Forsyth's chapter five on
Migration controls (1942, pg 40-53).

Another important area that geographers of late are keen to research is i=
n
determining what the impacts are on those that migrate and to those that
host new migrants (in other words at the micro and macro scale). Observat=
ion
and immersion are tools that now predominate this work, not scientific
measurement.=20
A wide variety of research work has been done on this subject area - from
how migration impacts upon a particular region and how, in turn, migratio=
n
to that region impacts upon the migrants themselves.  =20

V. Robinson (1996, pg xiv) makes an interesting point in trying to define
population mobility.=20

' Population mobility can be a very transitory phenomenon which is diffic=
ult
to record and quantify. There are sharp disagreements about how to define
mobility and, in particular, how to distinguish migration from other form=
s
of mobility.'

Migration and population movement is a complex and evolving aspect of hum=
an
activity in realspace. The meaning and cause of movement is constant and
forever changing for the individual as well as for the group. The way we
look at migration and population movement can impact on why people move a=
nd
as to what level it is occurring. Since movement of human beings is
constant, it is not inconceivable to imagine movement in a digital
landscape, not just for bits and bytes, but also for the human psyche.

2. Migration and Population Mobility in Cyberspace

Geographers have of late been using terminology such as electronic highwa=
y,
electronic community, global village, electronic frontier, and informatio=
n
age to describe an emerging geography in a digital format (Stewart, 1996,
pg67). Population studies is also interested in this emerging
cybergeography. In any environment that humans inhabit there is this
tendency to move, whether it be a few steps or to cross a continent.  Hum=
ans
are mobile creatures. This is a fact and in cyberspace it is no different.
In fact, cyberspace is especially designed for netusers (network users or
Internet users) to move round with incredible ease and frequency. The
ability to be in more than one place in different parts of the world is j=
ust
one capability that the computer and its networks provide. Population
mobility has never been like this before. Freed from the body constraints=
,
we have the relative power to go where we want that is open to the
cyberspace public. But what does this mean for migration and population
mobility? How can migration and population mobility operate at multiple
levels and at multiple destinations? If you look at each of the informati=
on
ecologies such as a channel (a place to chat or discuss topics) in Intern=
et
Relay Chat (IRC) and say a character on the Pacific shard in Ultima Onlin=
e
as separate entities to each other, then it works relatively well. You ca=
n
reside in the #Undernet Auckland server - Christchurch channel and also s=
tay
in the city of Britain on the Ultima Online Pacific shard. Being able to
occupy more than one space in cyberspace is one of the 'cool' things you =
can
do that realspace does not provide to the same extent. Migration occurs a=
t
and within multiple information localities and at multiple times. I can m=
ove
from one channel to another in IRC and decide to stay there and make it m=
y
home. I can also do this at the same time with several other channels - s=
o I
can technically be in #mp3, #Christchurch, and #Auckland at the same time
and regularly do what people do in them. I can also be at the same time
playing Ultima Online on the Pacific Shard with my character Nina of Weim=
ar
partaking in circular actions of mobility. Within these information
ecologies, migration takes place. People are always in search for new spa=
ces
for their own particular reasons.=20

Migration occurs within all information ecologies. People will always use
particular websites every day from checking their e-mail to updates of
available mp3's (music files). They will visit other websites but they ma=
y
never go back. In Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) people often use multiple
BBS's but will spend longer on some than on others. Users will regularly =
go
back to particular BBS's because they may have excellent services that th=
ey
like or have a community that shares similar experiences and desires that
the netuser is looking for.

In IRC, people are looking for a particular need that they require - to
meeting new people or old friends, conducting business or academic work, =
to
advertise, to trade, to make a home and so on. The reasons and motivation=
s
are endless. Once they find what they are looking for, they usually go ba=
ck
if they can.  After a while, the channel becomes apart of their lives and
they can stay there for a very long time. Many channels have been operati=
ng
for several years. IRC is about finding a place to suit your needs and th=
e
needs of others. People will migrate from one channel to another for any
particular reason. They could have been banned from one channel and have
been forced to look for another. Another reason could be that the channel=
 no
longer serves the purpose that the person wants and so he/she looks for
another. Migration at least in this information ecology, and in cyberspac=
e
in general, is a complex and evolving geographic process.

Netusers will also migrate from one information ecology to another. Befor=
e
the Internet, many people used BBS's. With the arrival of the Internet, m=
any
regular BBS netusers shifted to the new information ecologies that became
available to them such as IRC and Online Gaming services. Reasons by
netusers for the shift have been from a larger amount of people to intera=
ct
with (most BBS's are very small) to a substantial improvement in service.=
 =20

There is also this migration from realspace to cyberspace. People can bec=
ome
so obsessed with the spaces within cyberspace that they isolate themselve=
s
there, disregarding their commitments in realspace. It has become so extr=
eme
that they retreat into cyberspace and alienate themselves to realspace. I=
n
some cases it is a conscious move and in others it is something that ' ju=
st
happens ' over a period of time. It is in this way that we see a
semi-permanent move to cyberspace - in the context of interaction but the
body is left behind. =20

Migration and population movements occur in cyberspace. Reasons vary betw=
een
information ecologies. People can move from one ecology to another. Or th=
ey
can move in all of them at the same time for any length of time they desi=
re.
I have only very briefly discussed this matter - it has been rather
simplified for the sake of a quick introduction into migration and
population mobility in cyberspace. It provides a context for the rest of =
the
research.  Further discussions on this issue will need to be addressed in
the future as new patterns of movement and migration in cyberspace are
always occurring while old patterns of population movement are disappeari=
ng.

3. Ultima Online and its models of migration, population mobility, and
motivations.

Before I go any further, some background about Ultima Online would prove
quite useful to the reader. Ultima Online is a product produced by Origin
Systems, which is owned by Electronic Arts. The online gaming service is
based on the eleven Ultima computer games where the avatar (the player) i=
s
sent to a world to participate in. The theme is that of a swords and sorc=
ery
setting, where medieval lands contain the mystical monsters of past and
present. Players are required to pay $9.95 US dollars a month to play and
have to pay roughly $99.95 NZ dollars for the software.

Ultima Online is essentially a graphical version of an adventure MUD. The
graphical interface is isometric and the game contains a variety of sound=
s.
This online gaming service is an advancement from MUDs because a MUD is a
solely text-based environment.  Characters can move over space and the
terrain of the landscape is not homogenous - the landscape can come in th=
e
form of desert to mangrove swamps. Objects can picked up and moved. They =
can
also be extracted from the landscape - different ores from the mountain
terrain to lumber from a tree. For all sense and purpose, the landscape o=
f
Ultima Online is in constant change. While certain features are constant
through all shards such as certain AI towns and monster spawning, players
run establishments and movements vary between each shard. For a more
in-depth look at the issues in MUD's it is recommended that you read
Elizabeth Reid's article 'Social Control in Cyberspace' in A. Smiths book=
 '
Communities in Cyberspace '.

The online version is designed to support multiple interactions of player=
s
who come from all areas of the globe, but where they meet on an Ultima sh=
ard
(which essentially means a server in a particular location in realspace a=
nd
cyberspace). Multiple shards have been setup to improve network connectio=
n
and allow for the diversification of interactions. There are roughly fift=
een
shards located in Europe, Japan, and the United States. While the
programming for the shard is common for nearly all of them, the interacti=
ons
of players and the physical layout can be quiet different at times. Thus =
you
begin to see a diversification of activities in all the shards. For the m=
ost
part, the concepts of migration are not different between the shards - th=
e
locations attributes may well differ but the theory behind is not (except=
 in
some cases with shard Siege Perilous).=20

Risk and Safety are really one and the same in cyberspace - it can be a s=
afe
environment but conflict can easily emerge (Calcutt, 1999, pg 108). Confl=
ict
is an essential interaction component to Ultima Online - it has been
designed to encourage it. Jabri notes that=20

'Violent conflict does, however, arise from the individuals membership of
bounded communities constituted through discourses and institutional
dividing lines ' (1996).

Ultima Online's dynamic conflict (or virtual violence) system is more tha=
n
just group interaction and demarcation of territories. While there can be
conflict between guilds, conflict more often occurs at the individual lev=
el.
In a society where there are little societal laws and enforcement
measurements, violence occurs across the UO landscape. Having to deal wit=
h
murderers, thieves, and monster spawns is something of daily occurrence.
This situation is an integrated component to Ultima Online - the programm=
ing
for Ultima Online provides the possibility for those to follow the path o=
r
fear and conflict, even in some cases master it. It does in ways provide =
a
realistic comparison to that of realspace - for those to follow a relativ=
ely
free decision-orientated path within certain parameters set by society.=20

An outcome of conflict is that it creates diversity. Social identity can
arise from this conflict. The idea of being a 'red' and the impacts of be=
ing
a red or anti-pker creates a social identity. Groups form around this
conflict to form guilds of player killers. As Jabri notes, when formed as=
 a
group, they demarcate the territory that they reside in. This is quite
evident on the Siege Perilous shard with the ORCS - a guild that role-pla=
ys
as a race of Orcs. They have marked a territory of their own, an AI Orc
fort, and the surrounding landscape around them (located North West of th=
e
X-roads, north west of Britannia). All know that if they pass through thi=
s
territory, they face a likely chance of meeting a red Orc. And one can
expect it won't be a healthy encounter for the traveler. Many will go aro=
und
these red territories to ensure that they do not encounter any reds. So o=
ne
can see that there is this social identity, group formation, and conflict=
 as
a source of migration/population mobility from player conflict.=20

Migration and population mobility can be linked to territorial encroachme=
nt.


' Territorial encroachment occurs whenever others attempt to change the
social meaning of a territory or deprive its owners of complete possessio=
n
or control. Encroachment may involve the overt invasion of a place by
unwanted people or it may result from accepted persons violating place
meanings through innovative or prohibited use ' (Jarkle et al, 1976, pg34=
).

Territorial encroachment is an activity that is fundamental to Ultima
Online. By furthering conflict, there is this debate over space. This is
often done through guild conflict, demarcation of space by a guild, or by
certain members within organizations vying for power.

New patterns of population mobility are occurring in Ultima Online. One n=
ew
pattern is the lack of desired housing location due to overcrowded housin=
g.
As I will discuss later on, housing placements are an issue in Ultima
Online, especially in the older shards where all available housing
placements have already been filled. Since there is no space to place
housing, players are unable to fully migrate to new areas of interest. On=
e
may find that instead of placing housing, a player may share a house with=
 a
friend or join a guild that resides in the area. But the issue is that th=
ey
really do not have a home that they technically own. It does in some ways
make them more mobile because they don't have to worry about refreshing t=
he
house and so on but they are not guaranteed a place to stay for long peri=
ods
of time. Another new pattern that has occurred within the last year is th=
e
release of the second age land where players can hunt in new realms and s=
ell
services. However, players are unable to place housing due to restriction=
s
placed by the programmers. While players are able to live and work in the
second age lands, for the more experienced players who have housing, are
forced to return every so often to refresh their houses and to drop goods
off. Another pattern of migration is the movement of players going from o=
ne
to shard to another. With the opening of the Siege Perilous shard we have
seen players and guilds leave the others shard in favor of this new one.
Possible attractions or motivations for movement are the new rules in
placed, available space for housing, new people, or a fresh start.

Push/Pull theory may well be too simply stated; it is however, a relative=
ly
easy tool for examining population decision-making movements. I disagree
with Cohen about it how the intervening obstacles have been rather lackin=
g
in the model - in fact they play an essential part my push/pull model
(Cohen, 1996, pg xv).  There are these push and pull factors that draw
people to places but not all of them get there - why don't they? This is =
a
crucial question, especially in the case of Ultima Online. He is right in
assuming that this is the first theoretical model that students turn to b=
ut
it also provides an excellent first step in examining migration and
population movements. I also disagree with the comments made by Berry in
Moons article (1995, pg 508).=20

' That these models could neither explain why everyone did not gravitate =
to
the most 'ideal' city, nor that a counter flow existed of people moving
away, attests to a major methodological flaw '.

It is not suggested by the push/pull model that all people will want to m=
ake
the decision to move to the most ideal city. One suggestion is that peopl=
e
can become so entrenched in the locality that they are in that make the
decision to stay, even if the new location is available to them and has m=
ore
to offer. However, the push/pull model is a basic start in looking at the
cause of movement. Not all localities are the same, thus push/pull
motivations models are not all the same. Nor will the model itself become
standardized. Writers have expanded Brogue's Push/Pull model to include
return migration. Thus, in the case of cyberspace, one may well find
differing push/pull models. In the context of this research essay, it see=
ms
appropriate that we use it - since this is the first step in establishing
research on population and migratory movements in online gaming services.

Below is a Push/Pull Model of intra-migration decision-making indicators =
of
population movements within Ultima Online. For each player, the reasons m=
ay
differ but there are general themes behind the reasons for movement.=20

=20


As you can see there are many reasons for players to move and barriers th=
at
can stop them from reaching their goal.=20

=B7	Push Factors;=20

o	Housing Decay - after a certain period, if the house is not
refreshed, the house disappears leaving all the objects it contained insi=
de
on the ground. For a small house, if it is not refreshed every 3 earth da=
ys,
it will decay. A player may of gone on holiday in realspace and come back=
 to
find his/her house gone and another placed there. Thus, the player has no
choice but to find another home
o	Lack of Desirable services - One may find that the vendors in the
surrounding player neighborhood fail to sell any of the wares that you ne=
ed
to increase your skills or to add to your property. Another could be that
there is lack of AI healers, which could prove handy to have if you are i=
n
an area that has a high spawn rate of powerful monsters.
o	Change of Character Preference - a player could easily start up a
new character that is not conducive to the current location of residence.
One example could be that the player creates a miner character but whose
residence is located in an poor ore region, thus pushing the player to mo=
ve
to an area that has a greater quantity of ore to be mined.
o	Harassment of Player Killers - the continual attack by other players
on you can be an incentive to move elsewhere to a domain that is tranquil=
 in
nature.
o	Notoriety - the reputation that one gains through the exploits that
you achieve while on UO can gain the attention of others. Pkers, anti-pla=
yer
killers, rivals, guilds, and newbies (new players) may want something fro=
m
you - from services that they want you to perform, to collecting a bounty=
 on
your head, or to ending your reign of success or deeds committed.

=B7	Intervening Barriers;

o	Housing taken up - the expectation of entering an area with
available land may change when one finds that he/she is too late to placi=
ng
a housing deed. Thus, one has no choice but to look elsewhere for a priva=
te
or public home or placement.
o	Lack of space for vendors - much like the above barrier, this is
related to the crafts and goods that you can sell through a personal vend=
or.
The lack of space can be related to where another vendor has been placed,
the inaccessibility of customers to the vendor, or a housing add-on has
taken its place.
o	Distance - Distance is an issue for those that have yet to reach the
ability to recall, or who do not know the moongate system, or live on the
Siege Perilous Shard. The further away the desired locality is, the lower
the chance one is likely to go there unless quicker transportation means =
are
provided. Thus, player's patterns of movement occur within a confined spa=
ce.
This changes when one receives the ability to cast recall or gate.
o	Concentration/Isolation - One may find that players decide that it
is best to leave the area they are currently in because of the high
concentration of players - high concentrations mean that resources such a=
s
trees and ore are being used up far more quickly than in a less-denser
populated area. This means fewer resources for the individual player. It
also brings the attention of reds to the area. An isolated area may mean
that vendors do not sell as many goods as you would like them to. These
factors contribute to the reasons why some players may change their mind
about moving to a new area.
o	Lack of Funding - Financing can prevent those from moving into areas
that they would to migrate to. Higher than normal rates for housing deeds=
 is
one factor involved. Another contributor to this high housing cost is due=
 to
the lack of space for placing house deeds.=20
o	Inability of red pkers to access city guard zones - with red pkers
unable to access city guard zones, this excludes these characters from th=
e
services that a city holds - a bank, protection, services, and housing. T=
hey
may attempt to but in nearly cases it means instant death to the red.

=B7	Pull Factors;

o	New location for adventure - Players have the choice to stay in one
area if they so desire, but one will find that many of them will continue=
 to
look for new areas that will provide them with more resources, more
fame/karma, new monsters to encounter, new thrills, more gold, and finall=
y
new experiences - all this in the name of adventure. While particular
locations always seem to hold a high degree of interest to particular
players, they will not always be found there. It is in the players
interested to find tougher areas to adventure in - it will improve their
fighting skills - these areas can only increase ones proficiency to a
certain level.
o	Different/More Services - High concentration of vendors see high
numbers of players coming to buy goods or to restock them. This in turn
creates a complex economy - some vendors stock certain goods while others
have a mish mash of goods. Prices can vary - goods can come at bargain
prices while others are as expensive as the prices found in the cities. S=
o
for the adventurer or merchant, vendors and guild housing can provide
excellent avenues of goods and currency - thus one sees a high density of
people in the area.
o	Higher levels of conflict/guild war - can draw players to new areas.
The highest form of combat is that against a fellow human opponent. While
monsters can be difficult to deal with, the artificial intelligence has y=
et
to be at a competitive level. Thus, guild conflicts and player combat can
draw people who desire the ultimate challenge. The conflict can also earn
you the respect of your rivals, their friendship or their amenity.=20
o	Fame/Karma improvements - For some, fame and karma is important path
of being recognized as an experienced player. So, some will go in search =
of
areas that have monsters that give high fame and karma.
o	Popular/Unpopular location - Some players desire the tranquility of
an area but some people find these areas particularly boring. Other peopl=
e
prefer the bustle of people - from merchants, monster spawns, and to play=
er
killers. An area like the X-roads is a popular/unpopular area. For player
killers it is an excellent place to habitat or for players to pass throug=
h
while on their way to the forests west of Britain. Some people avoid the
area like the plague while others go there for amusement.
o	Player vs. Player activities - this has been in part covered by a
couple of the pull factors but this example is based on the motivations o=
f
people who specifically move to areas that have high levels of player vs.
player activities.
o	Social Activities  - attractions such as player run establishments
and events draw people them in search for amusement, winnings (lotteries,
fights, horse racing), treasure hunts, and to participate in general soci=
al
interaction.
o	Guild Strongholds - If the opportunity is there, some players will
attempt to acquire property close to guild activities or to the guild hou=
se.
Guild housing will sometimes see conflict activity if the guild is at war
with another. It also means that players in the same guild can keep in
regular contact.
o	Friends/Allies - A player may move to an area because his friend has
already acquired property there. Another reason would be that their allie=
s
provide extra protection from potential player killers.
o	Improving Power relations - this pull factor is closely related to
the above factor. By associating with powerful and experienced players, o=
ne
can begin to learn from them and be able to call them to aide when the
player is in trouble
o	Profit Maximization - Players will attempt to move to places that
can return them the greatest profit - from killing rich monsters to selli=
ng
at busy places of commerce.

As you can see, the Push/Pull model has much to offer. Ultima Online is a
complex diversified environment and the decision to move is not always
entirely held in the hands of the player. If one is to get ahead of the
other player it then becomes necessary to move to achieve the goal of
empowering oneself - this is a fundamental factor in adventure MUDs and t=
his
is no different to Ultima Online. Reasons for movement are various - for
financial gain to the safety of allies. Migration is a not a monotonous
activity but an intricate and player fulfilling process. The model is an
attempt to sum up these causes of movement into a relatively simple diagr=
am.
It also suggests that migration to a location is a constant activity - he=
nce
the arrows pointing in either direction - suggesting that there is this
return migration. Migration is not a one ticket to a location. The model =
is
designed to give an overview for the reasons of movement, not to necessar=
ily
go into detail to explain for the movements - if it did, it would not be =
a
model.=20

Rural to Urban migration represents a spatial commitment to economic
development within a region (Mabogunje, 1996, pg 44). In Ultima Online, t=
his
changes to a degree. It is interesting to note that players start as
urbanites, not in a rural environment. Players start of in the big cities=
 -
from Britain to Skara Brae. UO is unusual in that colonization of player =
run
cities started off in cities and then gradually moved out into the
countryside. This is in part due to the lack of housing space within city
limits. This establishment of satellite 'player' run towns (SPRT) has bee=
n a
gradual process on all the shards since Ultima Online started. Now, after
two years of been up and running, it is very difficult to place a house
anywhere in the Ultima Online landscape. In these rural areas, players mu=
st
contend with animal wildlife, monster spawns and camps, thieves, and play=
er
killers. The remoter and the lower the density of housing tends to be, on=
e
sees less of the above encounters. For those that do not have access to
property in the rural landscape are forced to reside within the city doma=
in.

The most common reason for moving to the rural area and to have a propert=
y
there is to be able to store goods accumulated over a period. It also ser=
ves
the function of a home and a shop where vendors can be placed to sold goo=
ds.
So there is this spatial economic factor involved. It is however not the
predominant factor in most shards (this is different for the Siege Perilo=
us
Shard as there is no option to sell goods to AI vendors - so this factor
could be a predominant issue).

It is also not uncommon for people in SPRT to not know each other. The
infrequency of meeting each other, the desire for seclusion and the dange=
r
of allowing strangers into your private residence are some of the factors
that influence this situation. This is not always the case though it woul=
d
seem that community strength varies from SPRT to SPRT.=20

The Circulation Model Theory is an important example of how movement
operates in Ultima Online. The model looses none of its design when appli=
ed
to the Ultima Online information ecology. The model below that I provide =
is
an early example of a newbie lumberjacker's circulatory movement.

=20

Early on in the characters life, he/she starts making his/her path in the
city. The inability to do certain activities and perform certain function=
s
restricts him/her to that territory, that being the urban environment, no=
t
necessarily a particular city.  Skills and Functions such as the inabilit=
y
to fight monster spawns and players, financing recalls and gates and bein=
g
to perform these wizardry magic's, not having a marked rune or being not
able to mark a rune themselves, the lack of allies or guild membership, a=
nd
the lack of knowledge of the surrounding terrain are all indicators to
movement in Ultima Online. However, as the player accumulates power, weal=
th,
and knowledge, the patterns and growth of mobility start to broaden. No
longer is he/she restricted to a particular, but is able to travel to
continents in a blink of an eye to partake in ritual activities. The mode=
l
below is a pattern of circulation for an experienced character that I
created while on my time on Ultima Online.=20

=20

Not being able to place housing in the second age has meant that players
that wish to log out in a safe area have to do it in Inns within the town=
s
of Papua and Delucia. It also means that their stay in the second age is =
not
a permanent one.
Players who own property must return to their house every 3-6 real time d=
ays
least the property 'rots' away. The building disappears from the landscap=
e -
the only evidence that a building was ever there are the objects that wer=
e
inside the building and even then they decay after a period time. This is=
 in
part to ensure that players maintain their accounts and to return to thei=
r
property.=20

4. The Pacific Shard

My focus on this shard for this research comes from my own experience on
playing on it and from other player's experiences. It was the first shard=
 I
ever played on and where I spent most of my time playing. It was also the
first shard that many of the interviewees started on as well. I have
provided a short account of several players' movements on the pacific sha=
rd.
Their accounts are intended to provide examples of player migrations with=
in
a shard and their opinions on it. It is hoped that their responses will s=
how
a correlation of motivations for moving and experiences shared. I asked t=
hem
some basic questions like what town was their starting point and why they
choose to start there, why they moved from one location to another, wheth=
er
the guild they were in influenced their decision to move, what sort of
movement patterns they saw, and so on. The comments made in each of the
following subsections have not been put directly into quotes. This is
because I have edited the grammar/spelling they used and put it into a mo=
re
appropriate subsection structure.

1.	Fergus of Eire (The writers principal character) and the X-road
Experience. The X-roads is located just west of Britain and is the
crossroads to the cities of Skara Brae to the west, Britain to the
southeast, and to Yew to the north.  Other localities within walking
distance are the Brigand Camp to the north and the Orc Fortress to the No=
rth
West. The roads are frequented by lumberjacker's who log the surrounding
forest, tailors in search of animal hide, tamers in search of animals to
train, adventurers who seek monsters, thieves, players refreshing their
houses, and last of all, murderers. What drew my character to this place =
was
that it had all the features that I had been searching for - adventure,
resources, characters of interest, excellent respawns, proximity to the c=
ity
of Britain (my starting city), and conflict. It was exciting to be there,
you never knew what would happen. My friend Daz who happened to own prope=
rty
there first introduced me to the area. It was because of all of these
attributes and the motivations I had, led to the placement of my first an=
d
only house in the area. Most of the locations that had the option for a
placement of a property had already been taken, so I was forced to place =
my
house on the coastline west of the X-roads. Principally, the house provid=
ed
a place to stock goods and resources, and to train against monsters that =
I
had trapped there. I moved out of the house when Daz placed a house very
close to the X-roads (Picture3). I handed my house over to a good friend,
William, who was in need of a property. He had been a frequent guest to t=
he
house. Unfortunately, circumstances in real life drew him away from Ultim=
a
Online and now the house no longer exists. I've had the opportunity of
working out of other peoples houses but the locations they are in do not
have the attractions that the X-roads provides. That is why the west Brit=
ain
X-roads on the Pacific server is my home.=20

2.	The Captain Shiner experience. Captain Shiner started off in the
city of Vesper because his friend Incarna said it would be a good startin=
g
point. He later moved to Britain because of the good monster spawn rates
outside the city. He was also tired of moving around in Vesper - all the
bridges that connected the city together were annoying to him. Shiner the=
n
moved to be with his guild, THC, where he placed a property there. When T=
HC
broke apart to internal difficulties, he moved to the rural area of Vespe=
r
because there was good money to made in fighting an enemy guild of his, P=
^H.
Shiner made the move himself. No one else joined him from THC. Housing
localities have their ups and downs and there's not many free placing for
houses left so you can't be picky. Migration is based on profit and
conflict. The guilds Captain Shiner has belonged to in the past has not
affected where he can and cannot live. Guilds tend to claim cities as the=
ir
own - they will literally go to the city and claim it, occupy it, and def=
end
it from all others - this can be seen with DF at the city of Occlo. The
Black Hand (TBH) is a player run town that defends the area that it has
demarcated - it includes a lucrative mine. One pattern of migration that =
he
has observed is players starting in the city of Minco to mine but then mo=
ve
to Britain because there are too many ore thieves and more ore available =
to
mine. Another thing to note is that Pkers make people think twice before
entering a dungeon - if a dungeon could be guaranteed of having no pkers
then more people would be visiting them.=20

3.	The Kryton Experience. Kryton started off in the Cat's Lair Inn in
the city of Britain because a friend had said that it was close to a bank.
Britain was like a home for roughly one earth year where he then moved to
Occlo. His first house was in Occlo. Occlo was chosen because it was not =
as
crowded as Britain and had less latency. Kryton later moved to Vesper
because of the guild wars occurring there. It also had as many AI and pla=
yer
vendors as Britain has. How powerful you are affects where you can and
cannot go. Occlo is a more adventurous town. It's on island so you have t=
o
be able to recall or have access to boat. It's also not much of a startin=
g
town since it's so small. Kryton considers Occlo to be his hometown. Occl=
o
was place for him and his friends to adventure. It also has wide-open fie=
lds
so it is a good place for wars. Housing prices are not really affected by
their location; it has more to do with their type. By the time you have t=
he
money to buy a property you will probably be able to recall anyway. Howev=
er,
contrary to this, certain locations command higher prices than others. Th=
e
X-roads is one place where the prices are higher than others because the
environment is considered by prime by adventurers, merchants, and pkers.
While housing at dungeons is seen as prime real estate, most players just
recall.=20

4.	The Mystikal Experience. Mystikal made his first entrance to Ultima
Online in the city of Britain and that is where he has stayed. Britain ha=
d
all he needed - vendors, two banks, close proximity to monster spawns and
player vs. player conflict and so on. The bank at the town of Serpents Ho=
ld
is his favorite because of its seclusion and being located on an island.
Having a housing property was only important for him to stock goods and
resources. He wasn't concerned where it was located. The area held no
interest to him. The house became available and so he bought it. Location
affects the price of housing. For him it does not matter but for sellers =
it
does. Guilds can affect where you can and cannot live in. While for him i=
t
has never been a problem he does know some people affected by this. The
guild would kill everyone in the surrounding area to encourage him or her=
 to
leave so it would make space for the members. Guilds generally don't leav=
e
cities often. They may leave if their enemies are continually trouncing
them. People are likely to move because of the safety factor but also not=
 to
have to deal with lamers (idiots). The presence of pkers also can act as =
a
barrier to people entering areas.=20

5.	The Ezekiel Experience. Ezekiel started in the city of Trinsic
because it was a city that he often visited when he played the software g=
ame
Ultima Four. He later moved to Skara Brae because of his associations wit=
h
the guild called Rangers of Skara Brae. After his disassociation with the
Rangers he moved to Occlo because it was remote and it had no moongate. O=
nly
experienced players could reach there. He does however, maintain houses i=
n
Yew and Skara Brae that he often visits to refresh and to drop and pick u=
p
goods. He also spent sometime in Moonglow and Jhelom with his newbie
characters. They provided him a relatively safe place to hunt and fish. W=
hat
draws Ezekiel to new places is the fact that they are new. Different peop=
le
and different layouts are just some of the reasons why he regularly
circulates around the cities and player run towns. Concerning guilds, he =
did
hear of a couple of guilds been run out of one of the cities but is unabl=
e
to explain why and who they were.=20

6.	The Luthar Experience. Luthar choose the city of Britain as his
starting point because it appeared to have the largest amount of resource=
s
available. He found this out through the guidebook that you get when you =
buy
the Ultima Online software product. As a newbie you have to live out of I=
nns
because you are so poor. Once you get wealthy you can live wherever you c=
an
find a place for a house. When he first started on the Pacific shard he m=
et
good people early on. They worked together and were able to buy their fir=
st
house. He visited it often and usually found himself alone their. The
location of the house was important for him since he was a smith so it ha=
d
to be in a location with ready access to ore. However, disaster struck. A
house key was stolen and the house was looted. Since this was a time wher=
e
one could not change the locks of the doors in houses, the house was
considered lost. Luther likes houses where no one is around. Luther has h=
ad
seven houses over a period of two years - four of them have been broken
into. Housing location has an affect on the value of the house. Luthar ow=
ns
a small house (valued 40,000 gold) at Buccaneers Den. However, since it i=
s
the only house on the island, it is worth more than 200,000 gold. The uni=
que
location and close proximity to the town add to this value. Another facto=
r
that contributes to this high price is that it is secluded. Another point=
 he
adds is that it comes down to what the consumer wants. A house such as hi=
s
on Buccaneers Den is good for those that want seclusion but not so good i=
f
you want to place a vendor to sell goods. There are better places to make
money from vendors. People move to areas that interest them - high spawn
rates, merchants with vendors, high trade going through the area, Player =
vs.
Player action, and to search for adventure. As for guilds claiming cities=
 as
their own, it is in most cases 'hot air'.=20

7.	 Daz and the X-road Experience. Daz started in the city of Britain
because it was centralized on the map of Britannia so being an online gam=
e
Daz thought that there would be plenty of people there to help him out. D=
az
profession was that of a fletcher and found that the city was conducive t=
o
his profession. There were three shops that would buy his goods. He staye=
d
within Britain even though there were no immediate trees in the city limi=
ts.
However, he was forced to leave the city limits in order to chop trees do=
wn
for the lumber that he would use to make bows and shafts. Daz moved to th=
e
X-roads because there was plenty of wood to cut and that it was very clos=
e
to Britain's city limits. Eventually as time passed he accumulated enough
money to buy a tent. He was lucky enough to place one right by the X-road=
s
(the previous tent that was there had decayed). His decision to place a t=
ent
there was in part influenced by the activities of his real life partner w=
ho
adventured in the area. It was a good place for him to improve his skills
and to make some money. But the area has drawbacks - there were plenty of
pkers around and very powerful non-pker thieves. When tents were removed
from the game, there was a rush to place housing. Daz was not able to pla=
ce
a house where he wanted to so he had to contend with placing it a little
further to the west of the X-roads. By this time, Daz was interested in
placing a vendor in his house because by this time he was regularly bring=
ing
home all sorts of items he had accumulated while adventuring. And since h=
is
house was close to the X-roads, he would no doubt see interest by other
adventurers in the wares that he would sell. Housing is an issue within t=
he
gaming environment. Since there is a lack of it people have a very hard t=
ime
in storing equipment they accumulate and it also prevents them in some wa=
ys
from going to certain places because they will not have a ready available
access to resources that could have if they were able to have a house to
store extra equipment. The danger of dieing at new areas could be a barri=
er
to entry since some players may not have enough equipment to restore them=
 to
a previous state before death. A guild does not affect where you can and
cannot live. Those that have the ability to recall (which most do)
essentially mean that they can go anywhere they wish to as long as they a
rune to the desired location. Thus it is not always necessary to move to =
a
guild domain.  A clear example of migration is the migration players
experience when joining and leaving a guild. People move in and out of
guilds in the search for what they are looking for. They are merely looki=
ng
for company that makes them comfortable. As for the housing cost issue, i=
n
some cases a house at the X-roads may more expensive than that of one tha=
t
is in the middle of nowhere. The size of the house is the major indicator=
 of
housing cost. While many players would like to live next to a dungeon, on=
e
has to face the hard fact that those who have played longer have already
grabbed the land. But as Daz points out that the power to recall makes up
for this. One of the major reasons from permanently moving from one locat=
ion
to another is because the player has bought a new house. Another reason w=
hy
a player might move is because the guild he/she is in is in this new
location.

The players interviewed made some interesting comments that are relevant =
to
this essay. They principally see player-made motivations as a reason for
moving from one location to another. They choose locations that have the
most appropriate resources that can further their needs but also because =
the
locations are interesting to them. We can also see the urban-rural moveme=
nt
patterns that they have developed. It is also important to note that when
one of them says they moved to a new city where they had a house, the
property was outside the city limits. It is rare to find a player house
within the city zones. They also describe some push/pull motivations they
had in migration. The motivations for moving are not too different to the
types I discussed earlier in the essay.

While housing is an issue, opinion is varied on whether the location of
housing affects the value of it. The reason why I posed this question to
them was that housing prices can affect whether you can move to this area=
 of
not. Having high finance can be a crucial element to movement and permane=
nt
settlement in realspace and it is not really that different to Ultima
Online. If you don't have the funds, you can't buy the house. If you can'=
t
buy the house then you cannot move there thus there is no movement. An
interesting point raised by Daz is the migration of people moving in and =
out
of guilds. This was one pattern I had not considered but seems to be one
pattern of movement that is relatively common among players. This is one
pattern that I would like to examine in a future essay.

Below are some descriptions and background to the pictures that I have
provided at the end of the research essay. The core focus of the pictures=
 is
to show how mobile and interactive players can be in Ultima Online (Pacif=
ic
Shard). A secondary focus is to provide a visualization of what Ultima
Online is.


=B7	Picture One - is the official transfer of Fergus of Eire's house to
his long time friend, William. Fergus had been using the house as a
storehouse and training center and with the advent of his other friend, D=
az,
acquiring a house closer to the X-roads, there was little need for him to
stay. William had been in search of home and this was an excellent
opportunity for him - for storage, training, socializing, and status.

=B7	Picture Two - is the location of where Nina of Weimar would buy her
reagents (Moonglow Magicina Mage shop) that she needed for her travels in
the Second Age lands. The pentagram is one entrance to the Second Age lan=
ds
that she is about to enter. One of the players below can be seen using
profanity at the bottom of the page. This was most likely a response to t=
he
lack of reagents available (the shop has many customers).

=B7	Picture Three - Fergus's new home, The Archers Rest. The house has
been declared public and vendors have been placed for the sale of goods
acquired by Daz and Fergus. One of the advantages of sharing the house in
that it would be refreshed often (lack of refreshing causes the house to
decay). Another advantage was that it allowed Fergus quick access to stor=
ed
goods - it would not require him to carry a key, a dangerous act to do if
one happens to be player killed because it allows access to stored goods
within the house. Daz can be seen saying Cheese to the Photoshop camera.

=B7	Picture Four - is a picture taken from the Pacific Fight Night
organized by the Pacific Tower. The current battle is between Lord Michae=
l
and Lord Savage. Fergus is in the red wizards hat and gray cloak and Daz =
can
be seen wearing the dark green robes and light green cloak. The Fight Nig=
ht
was an organized event with prizes given to victors (comparable to a
sporting event). There are specific rules and one can see one of the
officials saying to one particular player not to fight outside the arena.
Players had come from all over the pacific shard to participate as
combatants and as spectators. Many had heard about the event through the =
UO
related-web pages or through word of mouth. Daz who had heard about it
through a web page introduced Fergus to the Fight Night scene. The event
lasted several hours and many different types of fights were organized.

=B7	Picture Five - is a meeting of the Guild ELF held at their guild
stone house. The ceremony is to celebrate one of the Academy of Elf membe=
r's
initiation into the guild ELF (where the more experienced members of ELF
join). The meeting was also organized to allow for an informal training
session between guild members and to participate in a treasure hunt
organized by Daz, the Guild Masters advisor.

5. The Siege Perilous Shard

The Siege Perilous shard is a new shard to the Ultima Online gaming
environment. It is also quiet different to the other shards. Unlike the
other shards, this one has been specifically setup to be more difficult a=
nd
it is recommended that only experienced players join it. Some of the chan=
ges
made have been the removal of the power recall, skill and stat increase i=
s
slower to climb, one character per account, and players cannot sell objec=
ts
to vendors. These new rules or inhibitors modify how population mobility
takes place.=20

Firstly, it makes players dependant on other players for goods and servic=
es.
It is in this way that merchant players can begin to develop to a level t=
hat
was not attainable on the other shards. This means that players will have=
 to
visit vendors more often and have to interact with other players with
greater regularity if they wish to accumulate gold. Also, with the
restriction of one character per account, we are seeing players buying
multiple accounts and having one-account players diversifying their skill=
s
points to occupational skills in order to be able to make a living. It do=
es
in a way allow for an economy to mature.

With the ability to recall taken out of the game, players are having to r=
ely
greater on moon gates to get them around. This also means that they have =
to
rely on other players to gate them to other localities or essentially wal=
k
their way there. A pattern that may emerge over time are player movements
being localized to immediate areas of the base of operations or that any
long distance travel will have to be done by foot. So, when compared to N=
ina
of Weimar's model of circulation on the pacific shard, one may well find
that within the circulation model there is less distance to each point an=
d
points may not cross-continents as they did in the past. It is in this
sense, that circulation points become far more localized which is pretty
much how the newbie lumberjack's circulation movement is.

With skills not increasing as quickly as they do on the other shards,
players have to combine their skills to combat foes that would hunt them
all. Thus, getting into a guild relatively early on in the characters lif=
e
cycle is an important key to success. Through co-operation and group
activity, players will be able to increase their skills at a rate far
quicker to those who are not in a guild. Thus, we see one movement patter=
n
of where new players will move to guild headquarters to associate with th=
e
people. Players will relocate in order to improve their chances of succes=
s
and the ability to have fun.

One way of looking at Siege Perilous is that it is an attempt to provide =
a
more improved context for players to interact with each on Ultima Online.=
 It
is in the least, far more challenging. In the context of this essay, Sieg=
e
Perilous provides new patterns of movement  - from a greater emphasis of
localized movement to the movement of players to denser areas for the sal=
e
of goods and services. It is a step towards a far more complicated system=
 of
player interactions and player movement.=20

6. Comparisons with an other graphical online gaming environment -
Everquest.

It is important perhaps to contrast the characteristics of Ultima Online =
to
that of another online gaming environment to provide a context for migrat=
ion
in online gaming environments. The gaming environment that I have chosen =
to
compare Ultima Online to is Everquest. The information collected was from=
 a
player called Redwing Spiritwood, of the brotherhood of pathfinders. I wo=
uld
of collected more player experiences but time was an issue and something
that I did not have a lot of. Pictures six, seven, eight, and nine at the
end of the research essay are intended to provide a graphical representat=
ion
of Everquest and provide a contrast to the early pictures discussed in th=
e
Pacific Shard section. Everquest is separated by zonal territories and zo=
nal
boundary lines - each with their own distinct architectures and varying
terrain.

The Brotherhood of Pathfinders originated from early MUD's and was on UO =
for
a time. With the creation of Everquest, the players that formed this guil=
d
moved to play Everquest. The guild is made up of rangers and druids. The
information about migration in Everquest was collected by myself and by t=
he
experiences of a member who had just joined the guild, Redwing Spiritwood=
.=20

There are a growing number of guilds on Everquest but unlike the guilds o=
f
Ultima Online, have no home. There is no option in Everquest to buy prope=
rty
as of yet. Thus player guilds do not really have a place to call home, or
are able to declare territory as their own. The guild itself is a mobile
unit, where players can be found at all sorts of areas.

The economy of Everquest is rather limited. Players can auction products =
to
other players and to AI vendors. Many are forced to carry their goods on
them or place them within a city or town bank. There are only certain pla=
ces
where players can practice their skills such as smithing. There are also
certain places where players can train under AI trainers. Thus, there are
key localities that will draw players to them; they in turn provide the
necessary items or training that a player wants. So, what we see is playe=
rs
coming inbound and outbound key economic focal points that provide a
semi-global service. One of the reasons why Ultima Online has a more
in-depth economy is an example with decaying armor. On Everquest, armor d=
oes
not decay over time. In Ultima Online, armor decays the more damage it ta=
kes
until it is destroyed. So, you have to have a miner to make the ore into
ingots, have players defending the miners from player killers, have smith=
s
make the ingots into armor, and have vendors to sell it. It provides a
circle market economy that Everquest lacks (Lum the Mad, Battle Vortex Au=
dio
Show, 37).=20

Players tend to stay at zones that are most appropriate for their current
level of power. Many will stay there for an extended period of time until
that area provides them little in the way of experience and loot. However=
,
many go to areas primarily for the loot that is available. While camping =
at
these areas can be prolific, Redwing Spiritwood notes that for some playe=
rs,
the movement between zonal territories is necessary as it is part of the
adventure and a journey within the geography of Everquest.

Player vs. Player conflict is far more controlled in the Everquest
environment than on Ultima Online. There are servers especially designed =
for
player conflict, specific zones for players to fight each other in, and a
duel option among players to settle disputes.=20

New powers attained by level enhancement can affect the localities they m=
ay
wish to travel to. The ability to teleport, levitate, water breathing, an=
d
so on can make places far more accessible. Players may have had the
opportunity to visit to certain places in the past but may have found
adventuring in such terrain far more hazardous to their health if they
didn't have certain key powers. This lack of certain training or power
appears to act as an intervening barrier to the player's decision making =
to
move to certain places.

An interesting system that can affect migration is Faction. Faction is a
reputation system that characters have with races. If you kill many Gnoll=
s,
then your reputation among certain clans of gnolls or among the gnoll rac=
e
deteriorates while your reputation increases with certain other groups wh=
o
are enemies of the gnolls. It is because of faction that some players wil=
l
not hunt in certain areas because it could affect their relations with
certain creature groups. One example of this is that Redwing Spiritwood w=
ill
not hunt centaurs, as there is a centaur village that he visits that
provides cheap bow parts. If he was to hunt them then it could affect the
price that he gets the parts for or make it impossible for him to access
that village until he improves his faction with them.

Like Ultima Online, there is this urban to rural migration. The reasons f=
or
moving are rather simplified when compared to Ultima Online. Players star=
t
off in cities and then proceed to make their way into the rural areas to
hunt, to collect booty, and to gather resources. There is a return moveme=
nt
back to the city to deposit goods at the bank. On Ultima Online, there ar=
e
these motivations for moving but there are far more reasons for them play=
ers
to move as you can see from my earlier discussions in the essay.

As one can see, Ultima Online and Everquest share some similarities and
differences. What binds them together is the geography of population
movement - both share similar patterns of movement, from the theoretical =
and
at the active level. One advantage Everquest has to Ultima Online is that=
 it
provides a far more comprehensive graphical interface that is far more
similar to the one where are bodies live in, that being the three
dimensional environment. In this sense, Everquest provides a more realist=
ic
setting. However, it still lacks the diversity of interaction that Ultima
Online provides. It is in this sense, that Ultima Online is far more
'geographic' than its counterpart. As you can see, both have their
advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps, in future online gaming services, =
we
will see an amalgamation of both their strengths into one online gaming
environment.=20

7. Methodology

This essay employed both qualitative and quantitative methodology. This
rational for using this methodology is four-fold;

1.	To get an insider look at population movements focusing on migration
in an online gaming environment.
2.	To analyze the information and to explain the existence of online
migration.
3.	To see if Realspace models of migration can be applied to a
cyberspace setting.=20
4.	If they are different, in what way are they different? Are there new
models to depict migration in an online gaming environment?

This essay uses both primary and secondary data. The primary data consist=
s
of interviews and my own experiences from using Ultima Online. Ethnograph=
ic
research is an important aspect in accumulating data on the research essa=
y -
it allows for the researcher to integrate him/herself to a space and be a=
ble
to participate and observe principles in action. In Ultima Online and any
other gaming service, a certain amount of this ethnographic research is
required.=20
Ethnographic research and surveying appear to be the best methods of
accumulating data on Ultima Online and to understanding the kinds of
population mobility cycles that players go through. Trying to keep track =
of
every player's movement is impossible without an aide of some software
program that is approved by Origin systems. The constant emergence of new
players and those retiring means that any data accumulated is made near
obsolete. That problem is not unique to Ultima Online but in researching
cyberspace - the advancement of technology and the use of it outpaces the
research conducted in cybergeography. Also, attempting to account for gro=
up
movements at a statistical level can be difficult in most shards because
most landscape property has already been bought and housing placements ha=
ve
become a rarity, the ease and quickness of movements (gates and recalls),
and the number of groups and subgroups involved. Measuring statistical
population mobility is no easy task. Thus, one has to resort to the most
appropriate method - ethnography.
I accumulated transcripts of my interactions with some of the players and=
 I
also used an electronic mail program called ICQ. The player's grammar and
spelling have been modified to be correct.  The players I interviewed wer=
e
colleagues of mine on the Pacific Shard.=20

The secondary data consists of Realspace and cyberspace literature, text
information from websites, audio files from web sites, and screenshots ta=
ken
from several online gaming environments. The rationale for using these
methods is that they provide a comprehensive look at migration in an onli=
ne
gaming environment. =20

8. Conclusion

This research essay has attempted to provide an introduction into migrati=
on
and population movement in cyberspace especially in the domain of an onli=
ne
gaming environment. I examined realspace theories of population movement =
to
provide a context and comparison for the theories that I discussed in the
sections after section two. Using realspace theories proved to be useful =
as
the theories could be used and modified in the cyberspace environments I
examined. While the models I used were relatively basic they do provide a
start for a more in-depth examination into this area of research. The mod=
els
of push/pull, urban to rural movement, and circulation patterns provided =
a
simplistic description and approach to population movement and motivation=
s
in Ultima Online. Motivations for movement varied from the personal,
economic, social and the cultural factors that influenced movement. The
shards within Ultima Online share similar geographies and characteristics
yet are remarkably different to each other. While certain features stay t=
he
same such as the location of cities and terrain, the human organization o=
f
space varies from shard to shard. It is within these
characteristics that patterns of movement can be determined and correlate=
d
by the researcher to provide an accurate account of movement within Ultim=
a
Online. The advantages of conducting research such as this essay is that =
it
provides a conceptual understanding of movement of people in a digital
landscape. There is potential for a discipline of population geography
within cybergeography that focuses on the patterns of movement in
cyberspace. It provides another context for expanding the discipline. As =
I
have shown, patterns can be different between shards but also between onl=
ine
gaming services. Everquest provided an excellent comparison to Ultima Onl=
ine
because it highlighted the similarities and differences of movements betw=
een
the two. It also in some ways supported theories of movement such as the
urban to rural movement and push/pull motivation models because these
concepts could be seen operating within Everquest.

The essay used both macro and micro approaches to provide a contrasting
examination into the patterns of movement in Ultima Online. It was hoped
that these two approaches would provide an understanding of how populatio=
n
movement operates within Ultima Online and the other information ecologie=
s I
briefly examined.

While this research essay will be useful as a tool for furthering researc=
h
in online gaming services there are still many issues it failed to addres=
s.
I was unable to examine the pattern of movement of players entering and
exiting guilds and their motivations for doing so. This was in part due t=
o
time constraints placed on the researcher and because it was relatively n=
ew
material discovered by the researcher late in the research. This movement
pattern could be useful in understanding the movements of players in
organizations that I only very briefly discussed. Another problem with th=
e
research essay was that I briefly examined several theories of movement
patterns where perhaps it might have been better to examine just one theo=
ry
of movement or process of movement within the online gaming environment. =
My
justification for doing multiple examinations is that same I proposed for=
 my
masterate thesis. The decision was because these are new research areas a=
nd
it would be better to provide a start for researchers in examining these
areas. Once we have established an overview of the kinds of population
movements we can then begin to research more in-depth studies perhaps
focusing on one type of movement process within an online gaming environm=
ent
or between multiple gaming environments. The researcher believes that the=
re
is still more work to be done in this area of research as the information
ecologies are constantly evolving and changing. Thus we will see new
patterns of population movement emerging while others are lessening.=20

Terminology

AI - Artificial Intelligence. Computer programs with limited intelligence.

Anti-pker - a person that is against the idea of players killing other
players and are willing to stop reds from carrying out their deeds.

Bulletin Board System (BBS) - a computer network which offers the exchang=
e
of information. BBSs have evolved as client programs have added services =
-
real time talk, online gaming, and so on (Cisco, 1998).

Cybergeography - the study of geography in cyberspace.

Cyberspace - a term coined by science fiction writer William Gibson.
Cyberspace is thus the metaphorical place where one is when accessing the
world computer net. However, cyberspace is also used to refer to any
computer-generated VR (Virtual Reality) environment, even if its purpose =
is
not accessing the net. Cyberspace has many definitions.=20

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) - Worldwide 'part-line' protocol that allows on=
e
to converse with others in real time. IRC is structured as a network of
servers, each of which accepts connection from a client program (Cisco,
1998).

Internet - Largest global internetwork, connecting tens of thousands of
networks worldwide and having a 'culture' that focuses on research and
standardization based on real-life use (Cisco, 1998).

Monster Spawn - a random generation of monsters occurring at a specific g=
rid
on Ultima Online.

Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) - Role playing game, adventure, or simulation
played on the Internet. Players interact in real time and can change the
'world' in the game as they play in it. Most MUDs are based on the Telnet
protocol.

Newbie - a new player who has just started participating in an online spa=
ce.

Netuser - Network User, people who use cyberspace.

Recall - a level 4 spell that allows the caster to instantly transport fr=
om
one location to another anywhere in the world. The spell only works when
there is a locational rune to recall off and have the necessary reagents.

Red - Reds are people that are flagged red in the Ultima Online game. Thi=
s
is a sign of someone who has murdered or who has played a part in murderi=
ng
other player characters. There name when highlighted or checked is red an=
d
their titles disappear to be replaced by the label murderer e.g. The
Murderer DaNiEL. They are unable to enter any guard zones, if they do, th=
e
guards can be called on them and they will instantly die. Thus there is t=
his
fear by reds of approaching guard zones of cities. Reds can go back to th=
e
path of a non-pker (blue) but for each murder count, they have to wait 40
online hours for it to taken off.=20

Virtual World - is a simulated experience within a complex online
environment.

Web site - A web page located within the WWW

World Wide Web (WWW) - Large network of Internet servers providing hypert=
ext
and other services to terminals running client applications such as brows=
ers
(Cisco, 1998).

Bibliography

Balan, T. (1981) ' Why People move: comparative perspectives on the dynam=
ics
of internal migration ', editor, Unesco Press. Not quoted but informative.

Carazo-Chandler. C. (1998) ' Cyberspace - another geography. Territories,
Boundaries, and Space ', Geography Department, University of Canterbury.

Cisco System Terms and Acronyms (1998), ' Internetworking terms and acron=
yms
'.

Cohen, R. (1996) ' Introduction ', in Cohen, R. (eds) " Theories of
Migration ", The International library of study on migrants, Elgar Refere=
nce
Collection.

Cohen, R. (1997) ' Global Diasporas - an introduction ', UCC Press. Not
quoted but informative.

Eyles, J. (1985) ' Senses of place ', Silverbrook Press. Not quoted but
informative.

Fishwick, M. (1999) ' Popular Culture - cave space to cyberspace ', Hawor=
th
Press. Not quoted but informative.

Forsyth, W.D. (1942) ' The Myth of Open Spaces ', Melbourne University
Press.

Hearn, G. et al (1998) ' The communication superhighway - social and
economic change in the digital age ', Allen and Unwin.

Jabri, V. (1996) ' Discourses on Violence - conflict analysis reconsidere=
d
', Manchester University Press

Jarkle, J. et al (1976) ' Human spatial behavior - a social geography ',
Duxbury Press.

Lee, E. (1996) ' A theory in migration ', in Cohen, R. (eds) " Theories o=
f
Migration ", The International library of study on migrants, Elgar Refere=
nce
Collection.

Lum the Mad (1999) Battle vortex Audio Show, Number 37, 11/8/99.
Http://www.battlevortex.com=20

Mabogunje, A. (1996) ' Systems approach to a theory of rural-urban migrat=
ion
',in Cohen, R. (eds) " Theories of Migration ", The International library=
 of
study on migrants, Elgar Reference Collection.

Mandel, R. (1981) ' Preface ', in Mandel, R. (eds) ' Frontiers in Migrati=
on
Analysis ', Concept Publishing Company.

Moon, B. (1995) ' Paradigms in migration research: exploring 'moorings' a=
s a
schema ', in Progress in Human Geography 19,4, pp. 504-524.

Moore, D. (1995) ' The emperor's virtual clothes - the naked truth about
Internet culture ', Algonguin Books of Chapel Hill. Not Quoted but
informative.

Reid, E. (1999) ' Social control in cyberspace ', in Smith, M. and Kolloc=
k,
P.' Communities in cyberspace  ', Routledge.

Smith, M. (1999) ' Introduction ', in Smith, M. and Kollock, P.' Communit=
ies
in cyberspace  ', Routledge.

Stewart, T.A. (1996) ' Boom time in the new frontier ', in Kling, R. (eds=
) '
Computerization and Controversy - value conflict and social choices ', 2n=
d
edition, Academic Press.

Uganga, J. (1981) ' The nature and concepts in migration studies ', in
Mandel, R. (eds) ' Frontiers in Migration Analysis ', Concept Publishing
Company.



<---end quote

-Raph


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