MEETING MUSTANG - PLAYER RELATIONS TEAM LEAD

Team Comment - Comments from Mustang - December 3, 2001
Unlike many of the others that have written comments for this section, I cannot claim to have been playing UO for three or four years. The truth is that when I started working for OSI a little over two years ago, I had never played the game; although, I had played some of the other single player Ultima games. Ultima III was the very first game that my brother and I bought when my parents purchased the first computer for the family. Since then, I have collected a game library for the computer of probably 50 to 100 games, most of them fantasy style role-playing or strategy games. Computer gaming has been one of my biggest hobbies for years. However, I never imagined that I would actually have a career working for a game company.

I suppose, before I go any further, I should provide some background about myself. I have a psychology degree from the University of Texas and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. When I graduated from law school, I did take the Bar exam and became a licensed attorney, although I never really practiced law. The reason for that is too long to answer, and I am not going to go into it here. The short answer is that being an attorney was not that enjoyable, and I wanted something that I would truly love doing.

At that time, I saw an ad in the paper that Origin was looking to hire people to work on UO. Remembering my days with the Ultima games, I decided to give it a shot and applied. Well, I did not get the job. However, a year later they called me unexpectedly, and asked me to come in again for an interview. That was in August of 1999, and I have been working in the support department ever since. I started out as a GM, and about 7 months later moved into a Senior GM role. About a month or two ago, I was promoted again to a Lead position, which is where I am now.

I would have to say that working on UO has proven to be one of the most unique and interesting jobs I could ever have imagined. UO is truly more than a game. It was designed to be a virtual world that would allow players great freedom in doing many different things. I would say that UO has succeeded far beyond anyone’s imagination.

Other games have communities and even cultures that have developed around the game. However, UO has gone farther than that. In essence, there is a complete society inside the game world. I know, because I have seen it, both from the eyes of the players, and from the eyes of a GM. Many of the issues that I have dealt with over the last two years in UO are just as complicated and important to the individuals involved as real world legal issues. I truly believe that those that play this game are living two separate lives, and as an observer, I have found it absolutely amazing. Where else besides the real world can you find wars, weddings, criminal syndicates, shopping malls, casinos, con artists, taverns, libraries, local governments, symphonies, artwork, museums, and charities, all created solely from the minds of the players. I have seen every one of these in the game because of the imaginations and efforts of the players? Most of these are not things that were ever imagined to be a part of the game by the developers, but became reality because the world of UO allows for freedom of action and freedom of imagination.

Certainly, as in any society, there are going to be limits to what is acceptable, and that is where the GMs come in. Over the last two years, I have been a policeman, a judge, and a lawmaker. I have had to make tough decisions that may have hurt some individuals because it was in the best interest of the community. The job I have now is extremely challenging, but at the same time extremely rewarding.

In closing, I just want to thank all of the players for doing their part to make UO what it is today. I hope and expect that you will continue to amaze me, and continue to take UO to new and exciting levels with your imaginations and efforts. I hope that you all enjoy the ride.

Mustang
Team Lead
EA Player Relations