Richard Bartle, the guy who quite literally wrote the book on MMO game design, provided one of the most memorable lectures at the recent GDC Online conference in Austin. Unfortunately, Bartle was scheduled to speak at 9:30 am on a Friday, coincidentally the morning after a party that featured Playboy bunnies. Needless to say, he did not get the crowd he deserved, although the room was pretty full by the end. If you have any interest at all whatsoever in game design or MMO design, you NEED to watch Bartle's presentation, which is thankfully available to watch for free at the GDC Vault right now. Hopefully, they won't put it behind a subscription wall, because it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.
My favorite anecdote was when Bartle, who teaches at Essex University, discussed talking to students who want to be game designers. "Why do you want to be a game designer?" he would ask them. The answer, quite naturally, was because they love games. "Well, you love beer, don't you?" he would reply. "Do you also want to be a brewer?" Bartle's point: design games because you like DESIGNING games...in addition to playing them!