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What sort of fish was it?' how players understand their narrative in online games

MacCallum-Stewart, E (2009) What sort of fish was it?' how players understand their narrative in online games Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory - Proceedings of DiGRA 2009.

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Online worlds have become a fundamental element of the virtual landscape. The development of MMORPGs has helped give credence to the idea that online spaces can support valid social communities. Having proved that these communities exist, scholars must now decide whether these communities are different to those in the 'real' world. What makes gaming communities stand out? This paper looks at how players contextualise their behaviour within game narratives. In particular, the ways that players manipulate the divergent narratives of each game, and the paradoxes that these structures create is investigated. MMORPGs are rife with social tension. Players appear to use a series of different social codes when they justify their behaviour, borrowing from different rules sets dictated by circumstances in the game according to their need. To contextualise this, this paper examines how players express and argue their ideas through their understanding of the game world and narrative. Like fan communities , players appropriate the MMORPG text for themselves, reinscribing it according to their own conceptions. However, whereas fans must do this away from their key source, in MMORPGs, players discuss the text as they enact it. Narratives are deliberately dynamic-purporting to give players agency to move at their own pace or to chose the routes and standpoints they take throughout each game. Thus fans actively work upon the text in a much broader context, and their discussions are often visible to large amounts of people within the game. If all players consider themselves as fans, then how does this affect the perception of the text itself?

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Date : 2009
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 14:42

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