Designing Virtual Worlds, by Richard Bartle.
This is a guest review by Kit Devine. Kit works as a Computer Animation Lecturer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).
If you read only one book on designing virtual worlds read this one. Bartle co-wrote the first MUD in 1978 and since then has worked with most of the on-line gaming companies in the UK. In this extremely readable book he covers all aspects of virtual worlds in an erudite, witty and comprehensive way. Bartle has read most, if not all, of the literature on virtual worlds and he clearly summarises the various positions and ideas. For this reason alone, the book is worth reading.