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 : 60. 97 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 : 27. 26 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 : 83. 2 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 : 48. 24 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 : 87. 85 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

Communities Of Play

Author : Celia Pearce
ISBN : 9780262291545
Genre : Computers
File Size : 46. 20 MB
Format : PDF
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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.

Governance Of Digital Game Environments And Cultural Diversity

Author : Christoph Beat Graber
ISBN : 9781849806350
Genre : Computers
File Size : 45. 67 MB
Format : PDF
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'This collection of legal, philosophical, economic, and cultural perspectives ultimately makes a strong case for the potential value of game environments for addressing diversity issues, but also raises important concerns regarding implementation of corporate and government policies in this sector highly recommended for anyone exploring this emerging field.' Benjamin T. Duranske, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, US 'Videogaming is serious business. But the legal and theoretical implications of online and virtual environments are little understood. Professor Graber and Ms. Burri-Nenova have done a masterful job of bringing together several insightful articles that inform us about the business, legal and sociological implications of digital gaming. Innovative, fast-paced, and engaging as games themselves, these scholarly works provide invaluable insight for academics, policy makers and perhaps even participants themselves about the reality behind virtual worlds.' Shubha Ghosh, University of Wisconsin Law School, US 'This is an excellent and path-breaking collection of sharp and carefully researched essays. It provides wonderful insights on numerous important aspects of the complex relationship between play, cultural diversity, communications policy, and the governance of virtual societies. The phenomenal growth of these new digital realms has raised important questions across the academic disciplines, making this book's interdisciplinary focus extremely helpful to potential regulators and university scholars alike.' Greg Lastowka, Rutgers School of law, Camden, US This innovative book provides transdisciplinary analyses of the nature and dynamics of digital game environments whilst tackling the existing fragmentation of academic research. Digital game environments are of increasing economic, social and cultural value. As their influence on diverse facets of life grows, states have felt compelled to intervene and secure some public interests. Yet, the contours of a comprehensive governance model are far from recognisable and governments are grappling with the complexity and fluidity of online games and virtual worlds as private spaces and as experimentation fields for creativity and innovation. This book contributes to a more comprehensive and fine-grained understanding of digital game environments, which is a precondition for addressing any of the pressing governance questions posed. Particular attention is given to the concept and policy objective of cultural diversity, which also offers a unique entry point into the discussion of the appropriate legal regulation of digital games. Governance of Digital Game Environments and Cultural Diversity will be of interest to researchers of media law, internet law and governance, cultural studies, anthropology and sociology. As the book addresses a highly topical theme, it will attract the attention of policymakers at national, regional and international levels and will also serve as a great resource tool for scholars in new media and in particular digital games and virtual worlds.

The Players Realm

Author : J. Patrick Williams
ISBN : 9780786428328
Genre : Games
File Size : 89. 21 MB
Format : PDF
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"This study sketches some of the various trajectories of digital games in modern Western societies, looking at the growth and persistence of the moral panic that continues to accompany massive public interest in digital games. The book continues with a new phase of games research exemplified by systematic examination of specific aspects of digital games and gaming"--Provided by publisher.

Medieval Afterlives In Contemporary Culture

Author : Gail Ashton
ISBN : 9781441160683
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 30. 20 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/.

Tomb Raiders And Space Invaders

Author : Geoff King
ISBN : 1845111087
Genre : Games
File Size : 59. 46 MB
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The first in the field to focus on the key aspects of videogames themselves as a distinctive medium, this is a rich and original read for gamers as well as students and researchers of popular culture internationally, which reviews the passionate gamer/game relationship viz all types of games from Doom to EverQuest. Videogames now rival Hollywood cinema in popularity and profits and there are huge followings for titles such as Tomb Raider or The Sims. Exactly what games offer, however, as a distinct form of entertainment, has received scant attention. This book is a valuable contribution to this new field. Its main focus 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. Lively and accessible in style, this book is written for both an academic readership and the wider audience of gamers and those interested in popular culture

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