Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft

Publish yr note: First released in 2008

World of Warcraft is the world's most well liked vastly multiplayer video game (MMOG), with (as of March 2007) greater than 8 million energetic subscribers throughout Europe, North the US, Asia, and Australia, who play the sport an staggering common of twenty hours every week. This e-book examines the complexity of global of Warcraft from various views, exploring the cultural and social implications of the proliferation of ever extra complicated electronic gameworlds. The participants have immersed themselves on this planet of Warcraft universe, spending 1000's of hours as gamers (leading guilds and raids, exploring profitable chances within the in-game public sale residence, taking part in diversified factions, races, and classes), undertaking interviews, and learning the sport design--as created via snow fall leisure, the game's developer, and as changed via player-created consumer interfaces. The analyses they provide are according to either the firsthand event of being a resident of Azeroth and the knowledge they've got collected and interpreted.

The participants study the ways in which gameworlds replicate the genuine world--exploring such issues as international of Warcraft as a "capitalist fairytale" and the game's development of gender; the cohesiveness of the gameworld when it comes to geography, mythology, narrative, and the remedy of loss of life as a short lived nation; points of play, together with "deviant strategies" probably now not in keeping with the intentions of the designers; and character--both players' identity with their characters and the game's tradition of naming characters.

The various views of the contributors--who come from such fields as video game stories, textual research, gender stories, and postcolonial studies--reflect the breadth and energy of present curiosity in MMOGs. Hilde G. Corneliussen and Jill Walker Rettberg are either affiliate Professors of Humanistic Informatics on the college of Bergen, Norway.

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Sample text

When I finally did get through the tunnel to visit that wintry land on the other side, you can imagine my shock and disappointment at my first Winterspring quest. My charge there was to kill more furbolgs, this time those of the Winterspring clan. Needless to say, I am not among that elite group of players who have achieved ‘‘exalted’’ status and won the Defender of the Timbermaw trinket, which allows the player to summon a pet druid. To reach that goal, I would have needed to slaughter not hundreds, but thousands of furbolgs over perhaps one hundred hours of playing time.

In modeling a moderately complex economy, World of Warcraft offers its players training in the basics of supply-and-demand economics, markets, and arbitrage. While players are encouraged to perform repetitive labors throughout the game on behalf of their higher-ranking superiors, during the mid-level (middle management) portion of the game, the game structure encourages a degree of entrepreneurship by motivating the player to participate in the auction house economy. Young players of World of Warcraft learn economic lessons far more sophisticated than saving pennies and nickels in their piggy banks for a desired toy.

Esther MacCallum-Stewart and Justin Parsler’s essay in this volume (chapter 11) discusses the conventions of role-playing servers versus non-role-playing servers. 10. T. L. Taylor’s chapter in this volume (chapter 9) discusses ways that players measure and analyze each other’s performance in greater detail. 11. For instance, while I can perform a preprogrammed dance in World of Warcraft, I can’t develop a thriving career as a world-class ballerina. 12. One could imagine achieving the highest score for best dispute arbitration abilities, or best in-game storytelling abilities.

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