There’s an article over on C|Net by regular virtual worlds writer Daniel Terdiman that’s worth a read. In “Making virtual worlds more lifelike” (Link) Terdiman talks with the folks at PARC studying users inside virtual worlds and video games. From the article:
“It’s incredible the palette of skills you need to design these spaces in the right way,” he said.
Among the skills that would be helpful would be urban planning, sociology and politics, fields of expertise game companies are not brimming with.
I know some industrial designers who might have a useful palette. From my own experience, virtual world design problems have a have a lot in common with the real world problems IDers routinely encounter. And as virtual worlds become more realistic that does kind of make sense, doesn’t it?