Small Worlds Wiki Entry:

Clifford Chamberlin
Peter Q.
Andrew Montgomery
David Weiss
Jeff Reynolds

The name of the virtual world that we chose to look at is called Small Worlds which is populated by small bobble-headed avatars. You can "shop", play games in their arcade which cost tokens which you get from, oh wait we never got any, and other things that one can otherwise ACTUALLY do online instead of a cheesy avatar that allows you to pretend you're big kid now. The target audience is obviously children and thus inherently pedophiles as well. The activities in this game are basically the same as any other weird little MMO that decided to add some sort of dinky PvP area or arena (seemingly)just to be able to say their game has it. Interesting to see so many "kids" running around and no one is griefing, or at least griefing hard. Playing this game is honestly like being in a commercial for it in the respect that everyone does their own thing, whether it be saying hello to every person that walks into the area or maybe griefing by saying "poop"(the most grief we caught on our playthrough), but player action was strangely diversified for the limited game interaction.

The only thing that Stross' virtual worlds readily have in common with Small Worlds is the monetary system, and this is only a small connection, that of the deflation by getting rid of in game money WITHIN the game. According to the sales pitches being thrown out by other players I could buy a house for 1,800 something or others. Other than the real estate issue we never really encountered any other way that the games were similar in ways other than what makes them MMO's in the first place.

In comparison with Second Life, the game does have a more intuitive feel to the interface, mostly due to the fact that by comparison this game was extremely limited in its functionality. The movement itself is point and click like an RTS for one and there is no flying that we encountered, which is a HUGELY important mechanic in Second Life.

The monetary systems in the games are somewhat similar, although Small Worlds does employ a "free money" system that gives you tokens for accomplishing things(apparently), while at the same time implementing the common practice of buying in game money for cash which much like Second Life is the only way to get anything really cool.

Fun Fact: In the game rules that show up with the terms of agreement the game simply states at one point: "No Cheating". It also says that you must be 13 or older to play. They should have told the orcs from Avalon Four this.