Ferjik, Ken

Ken Ferjik
Image from Steve Bowers
Self-Portrait, Ken Ferjik, 120 AT

A historian, artist and game designer, 75-166 AT. Regarded as the father of true virtual universities.

While traditional universities were slowly dying during the Information Era, unable to adapt to the changes in economy, society and technology, the unconventional and non-academic Ken Ferjik explored the possibility of educational virtual reality gaming. His earliest creations such as Micronesian Quest and The Himalaya Wars were detailed historical simulations that inspired many imitations. Over time, he successfully integrated both elements of networked gaming and roleplaying (exemplified by Pertinax and Mother Russia), culminating in the political-educational simulation Cuba. He eventually became interested in how to extend these simulations into true tools for education and research, gradually extending the series of simulations with Manifest Destiny, Dustbowl, and Eagle of the East.

For the last 30 years of his life he continued developing his simulations, now as part of the curriculum of the Sanayo Virtual University. He worked together with AIs to create immersive virtualities with carefully adjusted social interactions, Verstheen-dramaturgy, and connections to research databases that became not just a template for countless other immersive education systems, but also defined the basic concepts of virch art through the millennia.

The world Ken Ferjik in Negentropy Alliance space is named after him.

Life of Ken Ferjik

75Ken Ferjik born
115Micronesian Quest, a detailed historical simulation.
118The Himalaya Wars goes online. This and Ferjik's Micronesian Quest inspire many imitations.
121Pertinax successfully integrates both elements of networked gaming and roleplaying.
123Mother Russia, Ferjik's first MMORPG, further extends many of the themes and developments of the innovative Pertinax, placing networked gaming roleplaying in an epic historical simulationist perspective.
126Cuba integrates Ferjik's earlier work in a detailed immersive political-educational simulation.
131Manifest Destiny, extends Ferjik's earlier simulations into true tools for education and research.
134Dustbowl, another of Ferjik's mature series of works.
135Eagle of the East is the last (and some say greatest) of Ferjik's major works.
166Ken Ferjik passes away.
All dates in the After Tranquility calendar

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 29 October 2001.