The Rise and Fall of CTS: Kenneth Burke Identifying with the World of Warcraft

Paul Christopher A. Philpott Jeffrey S.
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Guilds in online games often have a tumultuous life. In this essay we examine the rise and fall of the Cardboard Tube Samurai, a World of Warcraft guild, and explain three key phases in the guild’s existence using the ideas of Kenneth Burke. We argue that rhetorical theory can offer substantive insights into the events of online games, in this case focusing on the roles of identification, division, and consubstantiality in explaining how a guild can build for two years to their greatest triumph and fall apart two weeks later.


Project Massive 1.0: Organizational Commitment, Sociability and Extraversion in Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Seay A. Fleming Jerome William J. Lee Kevin Sang Kraut Robert
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMPs) continue to be a popular and lucrative sector of the gaming market. Project Massive was created to survey MMP players about their play experience, social experience, and communication tool usage both inside and outside of their gaming environments. 1852 MMP players have completed the online Project Massive survey, reporting on their play patterns, commitment to their player organizations, and personality traits like sociability and extraversion. The primary focus of Project Massive has been on the player groups that form in MMPs. Most MMPs support and attempt to foster group formation of some kind or another among their players. These formal player groups, often called guilds, can be as persistent as the digital worlds in which they exist. We have found that players who are highly committed to their guilds spend significantly more time in-game than do moderately committed guild members and solo (non-guild) players. Enhancing a player's commitment to their guild can translate into extending their commitment to the game world. In turn, this may result in longer subscriptions and increased revenue for the game's creators. This research is important because there has not been substantial research into the traits and practices of the more successful player organizations that are able to sustain committed bodies of members. Project Massive has investigated how these groups develop, organize, communicate, and operate across a number of independent game worlds. Here we report on our findings and describe our future longitudinal work as we track players and their organizations across the evolving landscape of the MMP product space.


Demystifying guilds: MMORPG-playing and norms

Verhagen Harko Johansson Magnus
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

One of the most influential gaming trends today, MassivelyMulti Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), poses newquestions about the interaction between the players in thegame. Previous work has introduced concepts such ascommunity, commons, and social dilemma to analyzesituations where individual choices may result in sub-optimal global results. We propose to use the concept ofnorms instead.Modelling the players and groups of players in these gamesas normative systems with the possibility to create normsand sanction norm violations, we can analyze the differentkind of norms that may deal with the trade-off betweenindividuals, groups, and society at large.We argue that our model adds complexity where we findearlier concepts lacking some descriptive or overstretchingwhen trying to analyze the balance between individualplayers and the game playing society.


And Justice for All – the 10 commandments of Online Games, and then some…

Johansson Magnus Verhagen Harko
2010 DiGRA Nordic '10: Proceedings of the 2010 International DiGRA Nordic Conference: Experiencing Games: Games, Play, and Players

As part of our research project on the social aspects of gaming and more in particular the structuring of behavior in online multiplayer games using norms and rules, we present an overview of the type of rules used by clans and guilds in both MMOGs and FPS games. Not surprisingly, both genre and player motivation play a role in the selection and creation of rules. We also note that one of the types of behavior addressed in many rules, griefing, needs a more sophisticated analysis than used in previous game research. We conclude by presenting a set of “game commandments” that summarize the rule sets analyzed.


Law, order and conflicts of interest in massively multiplayer online games

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

In huge online games where great numbers of players can be connected at the same time, social interaction is complex and conflicts become part of everyday life. There is a set of rules and norms in the game for what is allowed and what is prohibited and these are partly set up by the game publisher and partly evolve among the players themselves over time. This paper describes and exemplifies a number of often-contested behaviors around which most in-game conflicts in the massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) Everquest revolve. Using these examples as a starting point, the paper presents a conceptual framework for analyzing conflicts and allegiance in MMOGs.