aoir: "network formations: producing and consuming online games"

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Jason Rhody, a talk called: /Em Speaks, Or Textual Practices, Online Communication, And Asheron's Call

Game studies is going through a legitimization process, including a controlling vocabulary (other things, too, which I missed).

How have games established a sense of agency within the virtual world, while maintaining a controlled environment. Persistence is a key component, a sense of history.

How have players taken an active role in shaping Asherons Call?

Games are social practices; online games operate within a physical and computational environment as well.

Shows screen shot from Asheron's Call. Notes the amount of textual information still provided. Expandable chat window at the bottom, which shows status and activity as well. "Emote" function, some of which are programmed-- eg surrender, teapot. Also simple text-based emotes (which appear to work much like the /me command in IRC).

"I can want to jump, but desire and action only meet when programmed."

Non-programmed emotes demonstrate for players the limits of their control.

Lots of discussion of interface components, focusing on user-developed tools (plug-ins) for visual display. Various pop-up windows, navigational tools. Can "hack" the data flow, reinterpret and enhance it.

Players have been able to "penetrate the narrative" in this way.

In game studies, "narrative" is a touchy concept. One side is more traditional (narratologist), draws from other media types. Ludologists argue that games are not narratives, that they are unlike other narrative forms. e.g. "Tetris can't be compared to War and Peace"

Historical context for gaming is important. While games may not be narratives per se, but they can contain narratives. So Tetris may not be a narrative, but Asheron's Call certainly contains narrative.

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AoIR Envy from Matthew G. Kirschenbaum on October 18, 2003 5:37 PM

Seems like everybody who's anybody is up at AoIR this weekend. I've been enjoying all the blog coverage, much too abundant to link to here, but wanted to take special note of the posts (and another) on the MMRPG panel Read More

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