Wow, cool! After hearing that Arden, the Shakespeare virtual world, was "taking a break", I didn't expect to hear from them. I certainly didn't expect this release, where they've opened it to the public. I would have blogged this sooner, but I had to get my order for Neverwinter Nights (the game engine required) first :).
Castronova's comments on the failure of the project are interesting. Basically, the game wasn't fun. No monsters. Too much text, too linear. He seems pretty down on the project, the blog entry has several comments that sound like a sarcastic "Ha! Good luck!' to the next guy to try it.
Rest assured I *will* be playing this. :)