"Replay Value" -- a story about MMORPGs as crime scenes -- is out now at Aurora Wolf (Volume 8, Issue 8).
He paused the recording, and the leeches attached to the game’s server ceased throbbing, fell off.
Every movement and action, no matter how minute, of the past year of each player of the game, he held in a file on his computer, and he watched as that full year’s worth of data replicated itself to redundancy and scattered across his memory sticks, self-encrypting with each step.
Fingers stilled above the keyword, waiting for a shiver of excitement to pass, then he set to work, extracting actions into re-runnable modules, chatter into parsable output, morphing teamwork and group-think and player socialization into snippets which could be reused, rewound and replayed.
He had a gigantic pile of playtime data; now, he’d make it come alive.