Playability and fairness are crucial elements of an enjoyable online game experience. The unavoidable propagation time introduced by the geographical distance between participants can deteriorate the game responsiveness and playability. Also, differences in these delays can provide unfair advantages and/or disadvantages to different players. This paper explores the causal relationships between propagation time, inconsistencies, playability and fairness in online multiplayer games. It clearly defines causes of unfairness and introduces a theoretical quantification supported by an experimental technique to evaluate it in simulations. It also demonstrates through simulations the impact of changes in network architecture and topology on playability and fairness.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/pboustead/8/