video game worlds working at play in the culture of everquest

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Video Game Worlds

Author : Timothy Rowlands
ISBN : 9781315416038
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 76. 56 MB
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As massively multiplayer online (MMO) games grow in scope and popularity, what are the characteristics of their emerging gaming culture? How is this culture shaped by the decisions made by game designers and the collective interpretations of a game’s player base? In this book, Timothy Rowlands brings a diverse mix of ethnographic, semiotic, and analytical approaches to the virtual world of EverQuest. Through first-hand player experiences and interviews of other gamers, Rowlands analyzes a gaming environment that, as time goes on, looks less like leisure and more like a workspace. This groundbreaking fusion of sociology and the world of MMOs is a must read for scholars and gamers alike.

Play Between Worlds

Author : T. L. Taylor
ISBN : 9780262250542
Genre : Computers
File Size : 32. 91 MB
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In Play Between Worlds, T. L. Taylor examines multiplayer gaming life as it is lived on the borders, in the gaps -- as players slip in and out of complex social networks that cross online and offline space. Taylor questions the common assumption that playing computer games is an isolating and alienating activity indulged in by solitary teenage boys. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), in which thousands of players participate in a virtual game world in real time, are in fact actively designed for sociability. Games like the popular Everquest, she argues, are fundamentally social spaces.Taylor's detailed look at Everquest offers a snapshot of multiplayer culture. Drawing on her own experience as an Everquest player (as a female Gnome Necromancer) -- including her attendance at an Everquest Fan Faire, with its blurring of online -- and offline life -- and extensive research, Taylor not only shows us something about games but raises broader cultural issues. She considers "power gamers," who play in ways that seem closer to work, and examines our underlying notions of what constitutes play -- and why play sometimes feels like work and may even be painful, repetitive, and boring. She looks at the women who play Everquest and finds they don't fit the narrow stereotype of women gamers, which may cast into doubt our standardized and preconceived ideas of femininity. And she explores the questions of who owns game space -- what happens when emergent player culture confronts the major corporation behind the game.

Synthetic Worlds

Author : Edward Castronova
ISBN : 9780226096315
Genre : Computers
File Size : 35. 15 MB
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From EverQuest to World of Warcraft, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours—and dollars—partaking in this popular new brand of escapism. But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs. In Synthetic Worlds, Edward Castronova offers the first comprehensive look at the online game industry, exploring its implications for business and culture alike. He starts with the players, giving us a revealing look into the everyday lives of the gamers—outlining what they do in their synthetic worlds and why. He then describes the economies inside these worlds to show how they might dramatically affect real world financial systems, from potential disruptions of markets to new business horizons. Ultimately, he explores the long-term social consequences of online games: If players can inhabit worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete? Will a day ever come when we spend more time in these synthetic worlds than in our own? Or even more startling, will a day ever come when such questions no longer sound alarmist but instead seem obsolete? With more than ten million active players worldwide—and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development—online games have become too big to ignore. Synthetic Worlds spearheads our efforts to come to terms with this virtual reality and its concrete effects. “Illuminating. . . . Castronova’s analysis of the economics of fun is intriguing. Virtual-world economies are designed to make the resulting game interesting and enjoyable for their inhabitants. Many games follow a rags-to-riches storyline, for example. But how can all the players end up in the top 10%? Simple: the upwardly mobile human players need only be a subset of the world's population. An underclass of computer-controlled 'bot' citizens, meanwhile, stays poor forever. Mr. Castronova explains all this with clarity, wit, and a merciful lack of academic jargon.”—The Economist “Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.”—Tim Harford, Chronicle of Higher Education

Media Analysis Techniques

Author : Arthur Asa Berger
ISBN : 9781506366203
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 74. 28 MB
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In the Sixth Edition of Media Analysis Techniques, author Arthur Asa Berger once again provides students with a clearly written, user-friendly, hands-on guide to media criticism. The book empowers readers to make their own analyses of the media rather than just accept how others interpret the media. Media Analysis Techniques begins by examining four techniques of media interpretation - semiotic theory, Marxist theory, psychoanalytic theory, and sociological theory - that Berger considers critical for creative people to acknowledge if they are to understand how their creations translate to the real world. Application chapters then link popular culture to these four theories. Written in an accessible style that demystifies complex concepts, Media Analysis Techniques includes a glossary, study guides, and the author's own illustrations.

Virtually Sacred

Author : Robert M. Geraci
ISBN : 9780199379972
Genre : Computers
File Size : 48. 93 MB
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Millions of users have taken up residence in virtual worlds, and in those worlds they find opportunities to revisit and rewrite their religious lives. Robert M. Geraci argues that virtual worlds and video games have become a locus for the satisfaction of religious needs, providing many users with devoted communities, opportunities for ethical reflection, a meaningful experience of history and human activity, and a sense of transcendence. Using interviews, surveys, and his own first-hand experience within the virtual worlds, Geraci shows how World of Warcraft and Second Life provide participants with the opportunity to rethink what it means to be religious in the contemporary world. Not all participants use virtual worlds for religious purposes, but many online residents use them to rearrange or replace religious practice as designers and users collaborate in the production of a new spiritual marketplace. Using World of Warcraft and Second Life as case studies, this book shows that many residents now use virtual worlds to re-imagine their traditions and work to restore them to "authentic" sanctity, or else replace religious institutions with virtual communities that provide meaning and purpose to human life. For some online residents, virtual worlds are even keys to a post-human future where technology can help us transcend mortal life. Geraci argues that World of Warcraft and Second Life are "virtually sacred" because they do religious work. They often do such work without regard for-and frequently in conflict with-traditional religious institutions and practices; ultimately they participate in our sacred landscape as outsiders, competitors, and collaborators.

Game Worlds Get Real How Who We Are Online Became Who We Are Offline

Author : Zek Valkyrie
ISBN : 9781440851292
Genre : Art
File Size : 77. 65 MB
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This book explores how after 20 years of existence, virtual world games have evolved: the social landscapes within digital worlds have become rigid and commodified, and "play" and "fun" have become rational and mechanical products. • Explains how social rigidity in digital communities often robs these spaces of experimentation and identity play • Suggests that new technologies such as virtual reality are unlikely to revolutionize the media or cause dramatic social change

Communities Of Play

Author : Celia Pearce
ISBN : 9780262291545
Genre : Computers
File Size : 65. 13 MB
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The odyssey of a group of “refugees” from a closed-down online game and an exploration of emergent fan cultures in virtual worlds. Play communities existed long before massively multiplayer online games; they have ranged from bridge clubs to sports leagues, from tabletop role-playing games to Civil War reenactments. With the emergence of digital networks, however, new varieties of adult play communities have appeared, most notably within online games and virtual worlds. Players in these networked worlds sometimes develop a sense of community that transcends the game itself. In Communities of Play, game researcher and designer Celia Pearce explores emergent fan cultures in networked digital worlds—actions by players that do not coincide with the intentions of the game's designers. Pearce looks in particular at the Uru Diaspora—a group of players whose game, Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, closed. These players (primarily baby boomers) immigrated into other worlds, self-identifying as “refugees”; relocated in There.com, they created a hybrid culture integrating aspects of their old world. Ostracized at first, they became community leaders. Pearce analyzes the properties of virtual worlds and looks at the ways design affects emergent behavior. She discusses the methodologies for studying online games, including a personal account of the sometimes messy process of ethnography. Pearce considers the “play turn” in culture and the advent of a participatory global playground enabled by networked digital games every bit as communal as the global village Marshall McLuhan saw united by television. Countering the ludological definition of play as unproductive and pointing to the long history of pre-digital play practices, Pearce argues that play can be a prelude to creativity.

Understanding Video Games

Author : Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen
ISBN : 9781317533139
Genre : Games & Activities
File Size : 43. 14 MB
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Understanding Video Games is a crucial guide for newcomers to video game studies and experienced game scholars alike. This revised and updated third edition of the pioneering text provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of game studies, and highlights changes in the gaming industry, advances in video game scholarship, and recent trends in game design and development—including mobile, casual, educational, and indie gaming. In the third edition of this textbook, students will: Learn the major theories and schools of thought used to study games, including ludology and narratology; Understand the commercial and organizational aspects of the game industry; Trace the history of games, from the board games of ancient Egypt to the rise of mobile gaming; Explore the aesthetics of game design, including rules, graphics, audio, and time; Analyze the narrative strategies and genre approaches used in video games; Consider the debate surrounding the effects of violent video games and the impact of "serious games." Featuring discussion questions, recommended games, a glossary of key terms, and an interactive online video game history timeline, Understanding Video Games provides a valuable resource for anyone interested in examining the ways video games are reshaping entertainment and society.

Gamers

Author : Garry Crawford
ISBN : 9781135275051
Genre : Games
File Size : 64. 19 MB
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"Over only a few decades, digital gaming has become a major global leisure activity that now rivals the movie and music sectors. Due to this increasingly widespread popularity, gaming has in recent years become the focus of increased academic interest and activity, but still little is know about those who play digital games. Online Gaming in Context is the first book to explicitly and comprehensively address how digital games are experienced and engaged with in the everyday lives, social networks, and consumer patterns of those who play them. In doing so, the book provides a key introduction to the study of gamers and the games they play, whilst also reflecting on the current debates and literatures surrounding the virtual world"--

Philosophy Through Video Games

Author : Jon Cogburn
ISBN : 9781135859688
Genre : Games
File Size : 22. 33 MB
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How can Wii Sports teach us about metaphysics? Can playing World of Warcraft lead to greater self-consciousness? How can we learn about aesthetics, ethics and divine attributes from Zork, Grand Theft Auto, and Civilization? A variety of increasingly sophisticated video games are rapidly overtaking books, films, and television as America's most popular form of media entertainment. It is estimated that by 2011 over 30 percent of US households will own a Wii console - about the same percentage that owned a television in 1953. In Philosophy Through Video Games, Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox - philosophers with game industry experience - investigate the aesthetic appeal of video games, their effect on our morals, the insights they give us into our understanding of perceptual knowledge, personal identity, artificial intelligence, and the very meaning of life itself, arguing that video games are popular precisely because they engage with longstanding philosophical problems. Topics covered include: * The Problem of the External World * Dualism and Personal Identity * Artificial and Human Intelligence in the Philosophy of Mind * The Idea of Interactive Art * The Moral Effects of Video Games * Games and God's Goodness Games discussed include: Madden Football, Wii Sports, Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft, Sims Online, Second Life, Baldur's Gate, Knights of the Old Republic, Elder Scrolls, Zork, EverQuest Doom, Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto, Civilization, Mortal Kombat, Rome: Total War, Black and White, Aidyn Chronicles

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