Role Theory: The Line Between Roles as Design and Socialization in EverQuest

Boudreau Kelly
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

For a player to enter the game-world of EverQuest, they must choose a character. Each character fulfills a particular, functional role within the game that defines the game-play experience for the player. A character’s role defines the basis of identity formation within the game-space. Using sociological role theory as a point of departure, this paper will explore how class roles are designed into the game of EverQuest and how players redefine these roles through social interaction, role expectations and individualization, altering the structured roles designed into the game.


The Ability of Branded Online Games to Build Brand Equity: An Exploratory Study

Deal David
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

In light of the relative failures of the early forms of online advertising, many marketers are experimenting with advergames as a method of reaching the growing crowds that are turning to the Internet for entertainment. While this new advertising media offers much promise, its efficacy has yet to be thoroughly proven. Past research into interactivity, long exposure times, and positive attitudes towards an advertisement, things that are typically garnered by advergames, has shown that these attributes generate increases in brand equity for the advertised product. This study tested the relative abilities of advergames and banner advertisements to generate ad recall, a common measure of brand equity. Advergames were found to generate significantly higher rates of recall, a finding that supports the notion of their advertising effectiveness, and the need for further research into this phenomenon.


A Brief Social History of Game Play

Williams Dmitri
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Who has played video games? Where have they played them? And how have games helped or hindered social networks and communities? This article answers these historical questions for the birthplace of commercial video games—the United States. Moving from the descriptive to the analytical, it begins with the basic trends and figures: who played, when, where and why, and how changes in technology have impacted the social side of gaming. An immediate pattern appears—for both industrial and political reasons, the early 1980s were a crucial turning point in the social history of video game play. What began as an open and free space for cultural and social mixing was quickly transformed through social constructions that had little to do with content, the goals of the producers, or even demand. The legacy of that era persists today, influencing who plays, how we view games, and even how we investigate their uses and effects.


Wherever Hardware, There’ll be Games: The Evolution of Hardware and Shifting Industrial Leadership in the Gaming Industry

Jörnmark Jan Axelsson Ann-Sofie Ernkvist Mirko
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

The paper concerns the role of hardware in the evolution of the video game industry. The paper argues that it is necessary to understand the hardware side of the industry in several senses. Hardware has a key role with regard to innovation and industrial leadership. Fundamentally, the process can be understood as a function of Moore’s law. Because of the constantly evolving technological frontier, platform migration has become necessary. Industrial success has become dependent upon the ability to avoid technological lock-ins. Moreover, different gaming platforms has had a key role in the process of market widening. Innovatory platforms has opened up previously untouched customer segments. It is argued that today’s market situation seems to be ideal to the emergence of new innovatory industrial combinations.


The comparison of online game experiences by players in games of Lineage & EverQuest: Role play vs. Consumption

Whang Leo Sang-Min Kim Jee Yeon
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This study attempted to explore how similar MMORPGs(massively multiplayer online role player game) come to have different meaning and functions by the gamers in the game world. Each game world comes to be perceived as having different experiences by virtue of gamers’ perception of the game world. Their experiences are distinguished whether they are presented as consuming a product which has features of fantasy world, or taking a role play that the gamers create their virtual social relationship. The subjects of this study were two MORPGs, 'Lineage' and 'EverQuest'. Two online games are physically similar, but each one has evolved into a different virtual worlds. While Lineage game world has been a part of real world, EverQuest game was experienced as consuming the game product. The differences were expressed by the recognition of gamers and their behavior patterns in the world. Lineage gamers has regarded the game world as a part of their daily living society, while EverQuest gamers has perceived their experiences in the world as a kind of fantasy experiences. Being in EverQuest world was an opportunity to experience a fantasy land, and the game world as considered as a part of product. Although gamers in Lineage & EverQeust were both taking the role play experiences, the differences on perceiving the world has made them to behave differently. They has also showed different gaming behaviors. Different experiences of gamers in similar MMORPGs were expressed by their consuming patterns of digital images or contents.


Immersion in Game Atmospheres for the Video Game Heritage Preservation

Esposito Nicolas
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

The video game heritage is being preserved especially on the Web: comments, screenshots, sounds, videos, etc. But one important element is missing: the environment in which we play (game atmosphere) is one of our strongest memories. This article describes an investigation-based method to record game atmospheres, the four atmospheres we are archiving (one bedroom, one living room, and two game room atmospheres), the interactions allowed in these virtual environments, and some technical points about how to access these atmospheres (on the Web or thanks to a virtual reality system).


“Have Fun Working with Our Product!”: Critical Perspectives On Computer Game Mod Competitions

Sotamaa Olli
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper suggests that the digital games industry products are not limited to games-related hardware and software or the related spin-off industry products. Further, consumers “labour” with games is transformed into a product that is sold to advertisers and sponsors. In case of gamer-made modifications, this commodification of leisure is taken into extreme. It is obvious that the cultivation of unpaid modder labour necessitates different methods than the traditional forms of labour. It is suggested that mod competitions are used as a strategy of control over the hobbyist developers. Through competitions modders become interpellated as important members of the industry and simultaneously end up surprisingly comfortably harnessed. Finally, the paper suggests that the competitions that offer an attractive means to monitor the mod scene, paradoxically also work against industry’s advantages by revealing the laborious nature of computer game development to the hobbyists.


Abstract of Dynamic Range: When Game Design and Narratives Unite

Arsenault Dominic
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

As the clash between Game and Narrative rages on, many attempts to unite the two make their way. As heir of this tradition of reconciliation, the Dynamic Range is a tool brought forth to examine how different game systems can give freedom to the players. In its present state, I am going to use it as a compass to pinpoint the close relationship between game design and narratives, and perhaps understand how such a union can be successful.


Designing Puzzles for Collaborative Gaming Experience – CASE: eScape

Manninen Tony Korva Tuomo
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper examines the issues of puzzle design in the context of collaborative gaming. The qualitative research approach involves both the conceptual analysis of key terminology and a case study of a collaborative game called eScape. The case study is a design experiment, involving both the process of designing a game environment and an empirical study, where data is collected using multiple methods. The findings and conclusions emerging from the analysis provide insight into the area of multiplayer puzzle design. The analysis and reflections answer questions on how to create meaningful puzzles requiring collaboration and how far game developers can go with collaboration design. The multiplayer puzzle design introduces a new challenge for game designers. Group dynamics, social roles and an increased level of interaction require changes in the traditional conceptual understanding of a single-player puzzle.


New Design Methods for Activist Gaming

Flanagan Mary Howe Daniel C. Nissenbaum Helen
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Significant work in the gaming and HCI communities has focused on systems that support human values such as privacy, trust, and community. Designers and engineers have become increasingly aware of ways in which the artifacts they create can embody political, social, and ethical values. Yet there has been little work toward producing practical methodologies that systematically incorporate values in the design process. This paper is aimed at introducing systematic methods for the iterative discovery, analysis, and integration of values into the work of game designers and technologists. It is our hope that such work will shed light on the benefits and challenges of employing a values-oriented approach across a variety of design contexts.