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Living In Guild Wars®. Edition No. 1
VDM Publishing House, December 2009, Pages: 184
Massive multiplayer online gaming (MMOG) is a concept that has been around for about 25 years. As technology has evolved, so has the capability to create a realistic, immersive and social gaming environment that has a mass appeal. In spite of this technological evolution, there has been little naturalistic inquiry of what virtual gaming environments are like. This is a qualitative cultural study of the massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), Guild Wars®. Using ethnographic methods, participant observation for a period of 130 hours, and discourse analysis of external game forum chat we explore what this world is truly like. As a result, we gain a better understanding of how people can become immersed, even obsessed with MMOGs. Several communication concepts are explored in the virtual environment including: Baudrillard’s simulacra, Bourdieu’s concept of capital, and the notion of gender based hegemonic relationships. Designed to be read by MMOG novices and experts alike, Living in Guild Wars® offers support that virtual reality has become actual Reality for many MMOG players. This study presents ground breaking work in the study of emerging social communities online.
Cristin received her M.A. in Corporate and Public Communication at the University of South Alabama in 2006 where she focused on organizational communication, qualitative research in the area of web-based, interactive video gaming, rhetoric and critical cultural exploration.