Presentation on theme: "COM 537 September 26, 2012 1. Micro-ethnography! 2. Break 3. MMOGs: an introduction 4. Group work: charting MMOG research."— Presentation transcript:
COM 537 September 26, Micro-ethnography! 2. Break 3. MMOGs: an introduction 4. Group work: charting MMOG research
Micro-ethnography -what do games do to us in and across discrete moments? -what do we do to each other during (in) play? Linderoth, Bjork & Olsson (2012): "in our view, it is an empirical question if and how certain game features structure a social interaction"
Round 1 6:10 to 6:50 Station 1 – Media lab (Super Mario Bros on Wii): 3 players Station 2 – Room 213 (Gears of War 3 on Xbox 360): 2 players Round 2 6:55 to 7:35 Station 1 – Media lab (Tomb Raider on PS3): 2 players Station 2 – Room 213 (Trine on Xbox 360): 2 players Micro-ethnography
massively-multiplayer online games (MMOGs) popularized in 1997 with Ultima Online avatar-mediated, online environments some kind of persistent world (e.g. the environment does not turn off when your computer turns off) usually a mix of group-based collaborative as well as competitive (player-versus-player) combat robust economies and inter-player trade
the numbers game: in the US alone, a total of 26 million hours per day is spent in online environments (source: 18 billion dollar industry globally, including both subscription-based and free-to-play games (source: InfoDev) World of Warcraft player population peaked at 12 million users 900,000 pre-orders for the Dec 20, 2011 release of The Old Replublic (http://www.vgchartz.com/charts/preorders.ph p)
new forms of sociality… and new virtual challenges 2006: in-game World of Warcraft funeral for player is ambushed by a rival guild 2009: researcher in City of Heroes studies the games social customs by breaking them 2010: in-game wedding celebration in EVE Online is crashed by a rival corporation
new forms of sociality… and new real challenges 2006: Blizzard (publisher of World of Warcraft) bans LGBT-friendly guilds (player associations) from advertising sexual orientation 2007: authorities in the US track a suspect through info provided by Blizzard 2011: prisoners in China forced to earn virtual currency in World of Warcraft
Question for the next 4 weeks: How do we re-assemble online gaming?
Hardware & software Other players Game rules Game mechanics Player(s) & Avatar(s) Play context Play Change any of the actants and you change the interrelations between other actants, e.g. PLAY. (adapted from Engeström, 1990)
Chinese & Taiwanese servers Chinese & Taiwanese WoW players China & Taiwan Play Lin, H. and Sun, C-T. (2011). A Chinese cyber diaspora: Contact and identity negotiation on Taiwanese WoW servers.
Other players Game rules Game mechanics Avatar(s) Play Quantitative research
Ontological What is the status of avatars? Are they second selves? Idealized selves? Puppets? Tools? What is the status of virtual environments? Are they a space apart from our everyday lives? What happens online stays online? Is the virtual separate from the real? Or a continuation of it? How do we account for multiple avatars? Multiple players?
Epistemological What does the game let us see? Is this the whole picture? What do we learn from observing other avatars? What do we learn from observing other players? What other sources of data can we use and how?
Ethical What is our relationship to the players we observe / interview / study? Are the players we study aware that they are being watched? How are we representing players? Would they agree with & recognize our portrayal of them? Do they have the power or opportunity to contribute their own understandings?
Group work Divide into pairs 2 pairs for Lin & Sun, 2 pairs for Bjork & Linderoth Go to the Google doc:https://docs.google.com/a/ncsu.edu/spre adsheet/ccc?key=0AmP_FQLV5u1kdGJDM0 85Vm9xb05ZWlVtNXJKc0FQRGc#gid=0https://docs.google.com/a/ncsu.edu/spre adsheet/ccc?key=0AmP_FQLV5u1kdGJDM0 85Vm9xb05ZWlVtNXJKc0FQRGc#gid=0 Fill it in using my look at the TL Taylor article as an example