video game worlds working at play in the culture of everquest

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Video Game Worlds

Author : Timothy Rowlands
ISBN : 9781315416045
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 67. 70 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.

Media Analysis Techniques

Author : Arthur Asa Berger
ISBN : 9781506366203
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 50. 55 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 : 73. 75 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.

Play Between Worlds

Author : T. L. Taylor
ISBN : 9780262250542
Genre : Computers
File Size : 53. 35 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 : 20. 20 MB
Format : PDF
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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

Understanding Video Games

Author : Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen
ISBN : 9781317533139
Genre : Games & Activities
File Size : 65. 19 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.

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

Author : Zek Valkyrie
ISBN : 9781440851292
Genre : Art
File Size : 81. 44 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

Medieval Afterlives In Contemporary Culture

Author : Gail Ashton
ISBN : 9781441160683
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 58. 37 MB
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With contributions from 29 leading international scholars, this is the first single-volume guide to the appropriation of medieval texts in contemporary culture. Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture covers a comprehensive range of media, including literature, film, TV, comics book adaptations, electronic media, performances, and commercial merchandise and tourism. Its lively chapters range from Spamalot to the RSC, Beowulf to Merlin, computer games to internet memes, opera to Young Adult fiction and contemporary poetry, and much more. Also included is a companion website aimed at general readers, academics, and students interested in the burgeoning field of Medieval afterlives, complete with: - Further reading/weblinks - 'My favourite' guides to contemporary medieval appropriations - Images and interviews - Guide to library archives and manuscript collections - Guide to heritage collection See also our website at https://medievalafterlives.wordpress.com/.

Online Gaming In Context

Author : Garry Crawford
ISBN : 9781135275044
Genre : Games
File Size : 43. 83 MB
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There is little question of the social, cultural and economic importance of video games in the world today, with gaming now rivalling the movie and music sectors as a major leisure industry and pastime. The significance of video games within our everyday lives has certainly been increased and shaped by new technologies and gaming patterns, including the rise of home-based games consoles, advances in mobile telephone technology, the rise in more 'sociable' forms of gaming, and of course the advent of the Internet. This book explores the opportunities, challenges and patterns of gameplay and sociality afforded by the Internet and online gaming. Bringing together a series of original essays from both leading and emerging academics in the field of game studies, many of which employ new empirical work and innovative theoretical approaches to gaming, this book considers key issues crucial to our understanding of online gaming and associated social relations, including: patterns of play, legal and copyright issues, player production, identity construction, gamer communities, communication, patterns of social exclusion and inclusion around religion, gender and disability, and future directions in online gaming.

Tomb Raiders And Space Invaders

Author : Geoff King
ISBN : 1850438145
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 57. 86 MB
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The main focus of this book is on key formal aspects of games and the experiences and pleasures offered by the activities they require of the player. A wide range of games are considered, from first-person shooters to third-person action-adventures, strategy, sports-related and role-playing games. Issues examined in detail include the characteristics of gameplay and its relationship with narrative, genre, virtual landscapes, realism, spectacle and sensation.

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