Author Archive

Qualitative Research

For this activity, I decided to observe the chats of two different areas in the Silvermoon server. I was interested in knowing if there was any kind of common rhetoric that was shared by both chats, keeping in mind that one area is a very populated “starting area” and its counterpart is a lesser known location.

My process was simple, I would wait ten minutes and collect everything I could from the game chat in the starting area called Goldshire. What I found was that the chat became flooded with “e-rhetoric.” That being a sort of quasi-text language that consisted mainly of “GG” and a few less appropriate terms. Fortunately, being a video game enthusiast myself, I came into this activity with a rough estimate of the type of language that I would encounter. Due to that fact that World of Warcraft’s in-game chat is just a series of text messages that are public to the local players, it is easy to get lost in its disjointed nature. Insults are considered commonplace in this environment, however when I went to another location, I found quite the opposite. My second subject was in a smaller town called Moonbrook. I found that in this location, there was far less activity in the chat. This could likely be attributed to the smaller population of players in the town. In this chat, as opposed to Goldshire’s, the individuals who inhabited the area tended to not engage in the chats frequently. In the rare case that the players in Moonbrook actually type in the chat it tended to be the same type of rhetoric.

 

 

 

The Human Race

Kent Snodgrass

Race: Human

Class: Priest

 

Within most fantasy video games, the human race is often the default and/or at the center of the main story-line. Massive titles in the fantasy/hero video gaming space often create their own amalgamation of different “real-world” subsets of the human race to create their own unique “human-race.” In “Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V”, Bethesda, the main game’s developer, decided to create the “Nords,” which were the “stand-in” human race that occupied this specific area (Skyrim) in their specific fantasy world. The Nords are closely based off of Scandinavia’s famous, or (in)famous, Vikings and their history and culture. They are depicted as large, angry, battle-ready marauders who value things like honor, sacrifice, and brotherhood above all. Obliviously the Nords of Skyrim occupy a far different world and these changes are accounted for by the developers. Keep in mind, this is just one developer interpretation of the “Human race;” in reality other developers like Blizzard and EA have staunchly different interpretations in their games. Take World of Warcraft for instance; in World of Warcraft, the Human race, unlike in Skyrim, tends to be far more diverse amongst their appearances. Humans can be skinny or fat, dark or light skinned, tall or short. Their philosophies however, are very similar to the humans of Skyrim in that they are “filled with unchecked passion and ambition.”[1] The humans of World of Warcraft fill a plethora of roles within the world that they inhabit, from powerful political titans (nobility) to battle-hardened foot soldiers for their respective causes. Unlike Skyrim’s Nords, who believe in a sort of quasi-norse mythology, the humans of WoW believe in what is called “The Holy Light.” The human race that inhabits the World of Warcraft universe is much like the human race of the real world. The history and lore is rich and detailed, the MPC’s are mostly different in both physical appearance and origin, and their moral spectrum is diverse.

Is WoW Addicting

In discussions regarding the online phenomenon known as World of Warcraft (WoW), one controversial question has surfaced; does the game cause it’s players to become addicted? On the one hand, some think that–with proper self-control—the game is not addicting at all. On the other hand, some, like myself, contend that the game is extremely addicting due to a number of factors associated with MMORPG’s.

According to testimonies from experienced WoW players, it is no secret that the game can mimic the effects like that of a powerful drug. One player claimed that, “[he doesn’t] enjoy it, but [he] still play[s] it” and he doesn’t even know why (Sottek 1). Hundreds of WoW players have opened up about their experiences with the game in the last few years, however, it might not be enough to prove the notion that WoW is addictive. Luckily, in an article written by Brian D. (Ng, M.S.) and Peter Wiemer-Hastings (Ph D.) of DePaul University, the authors discuss their take on a collection of evidence to assert the notion that MMORPG’s can be extremely addictive and can result in a number of negative externalities for those who are addicted. Unfortunately, the authors never reference “WoW” directly by name, however they do point to evidence pertaining to games that are nearly identical in their natures’, such as “Diablo II” and “Everquest” (98).

Like the authors, I believe that a massive component that makes MMORPG’s like WoW so addictive is the social and competitive aspects that make players have to physically be present in the game to enjoy their rewards. Similarly, authors Christopher S. Peters, (M.A and L.) Alvin Malesky, Jr., (Ph.D.), decided to try to prove the connection between MMORPGs and negative externalities using a survey of WoW players and looking at trends in the data. What they found was that there was a correlation between the two, in other words, the more time the player spent on the game (sometimes 8 hours a day), the more negative externalities happened in their lives. (481)

Though Blizzard and other MMORPG developers don’t explicitly say that their players need to play an obscenely unhealthy amount of time in order to stay relevant in the game, it is obvious that WoW and games like it have extremely addictive properties that force its player base to continuously play in order not fall behin

Work Cited:

Sottek, T.C. “If ‘World of Warcraft’ Is a Drug, Blizzard Is a Cruel Drug Dealer.” The Verge, The Verge, 26 Sept. 2014, www.theverge.com/2014/9/26/6849317/if-world-of-warcraft-is-a-drug-blizzard-is-a-cruel-drug-dealer.

Peters, Christopher S., and L. Alvin Malesky Jr. “Problematic usage among highly-engaged players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games.” CyberPsychology & Behavior 11, no. 4 (2008): 481-484.

Ng, Brian D., and Peter Wiemer-Hastings. “Addiction to massively multiplayer online role-playing games.” Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine 2 (2004): 97-101.

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