January 15, 2004

A month late and a bunch of links short

Well, I don't feel so bad now. We might have been a couple of weeks late on the Alphaville Herald story, but Amy Harmon in the New York Times is several weeks later. Seriously, Harmon's piece is well worth reading. It's rather detached, though -- you'd think that an intrepid band of investigative reporters would fan out into the seamier side of The Sims Online, to check out Peter Ludlow's charges first hand.

Also, I miss the hyperlinks. Harmon's article is full of references to online sources: just in the top half of the article's first browser screenful, she cites Ludlow's online newspaper The Alphaville Herald; the salon.com article; a weblog run by Yale law students. But of course, the NYT doesn't have links. You can find them with google, but it takes time and effort.

The linguistic relevance? Well, Peter Ludlow is a philosopher of language, in his day job. Or how about this: networked artificial communities offer an interesting opportunity for modeling communicative interaction. You can see the whole thing as one big Turing Test Bench. Of course, this is not how the participants see it, but that's the whole point.

Posted by Mark Liberman at January 15, 2004 04:22 PM