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TIL: "(Database) sharding" as a term was coined, or at least influenced, by Ultima Online's game lore.

"(...) Garriott's production team attempted to mitigate this [game balance] issue by separating the global player base into separate sessions, and rewriting part of Ultima Online's fictional connection to the end of Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness, where the defeat of its antagonist Mondain also led to the creation of multiverse "shards"." (Wikipedia)

And a 7min video article where Garriott recounts it in detail: arstechnica.com/video/watch/wa

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