Configuring the player: subversive behavior in Project Entropia

Jakobsson Peter Pargman Daniel
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper presents the concept of a “black box” as a tool for analyzing virtual worlds. The concept comes from the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS) and we employ it here more specifically to study one such virtual world in particular, Project Entropia. The concept of a “black box” is used to describe the developers’ efforts to hide or to build certain assumptions into the very fabric of the virtual world in order to get the players to perform certain prescribed roles. The concept is also used to describe players’ efforts to open up this black box in order to get access to and play other roles – roles not prescribed by the game publisher and that in some cases function as a threat to the publisher’s business model. The focus of the analysis is on the imperative to “pay to play”. This imperative is essential to the developers of the game since Project Entropia does not employ the usual subscription-based revenue model that most other Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) use.


Exploring E-sports: A Case Study of Gameplay in Counter-strike

Rambusch Jana Jakobsson Peter Pargman Daniel
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

In this paper, a case study of Counter-strike is presented in which cognitive, cultural, economical, and technological aspects of people’s gameplay activities are discussed. Most attention is given to Counter-strike as an e-sport – competitive gameplay which borrows forms from traditional sports. Also, methodological and theoretical issues related to the study are discussed, including issues of player-centered approaches and issues related to the crossdisciplinarily of the study, which borrows perspectives from cognitive science as well as cultural studies.