"When you hear other world designers talk about the confrontational enemy-relationship with their residents, it just isn't the same thing. In Second Life, the kind of creative energy we see out there is Second Life's strength. When you look at why Second Life has such incredible momentum moving forward, it's because of our residents. To start with this foolish 'Well, they're the enemy' - that's just silly. I'll be the first to say that no game survives first contact with the users. But that doesn't mean it's adversarial - games are better once players start playing them, and Second Life is better because of its residents."
It seems like good game designers are the ones who make the games that their players can't break. The Linden Lab team, however, don't seem to be making any games at all. Instead, they simply gave their residents the tools to control their world and let them improve it as they see fit. And somehow, amid Second Life's social spaces and free-market economy and devolved governmental functions, Linden Lab and the residents of Second Life came up with a game where everybody wins.
Pat Miller has been doing this for way too long.