AoIR8 Day1: Thursday late afternoon: Player culture and gameplay expectations: Shifting norms and expectations

1. Round-house kicks and melting faces: Chuck Norris and World of Warcraft Player Culture – Nathan Dutton
nathan dutton.jpg - horrible shot, sorry

Two shifts:

  • in-game communication to texts outside the game (like Allakhazam fake items)
  • Chuck Norris facts became WoW specific (Eyonix thread)

[Wonder if he’s read meme stuff (eg, Knobel and Lankshear… or Shawna’s humor in games stuff.]

Not an homage to Chuck Norris but more a celebration of hegemonic masculine values. [I’m not sure what “hegemonic masculinity” means… 😛 ]
[Ok, now, so what? cf. Knobel and Lankshear]

Q from TL Taylor: is there a complexity between hegemonic masculinity and geek masculinity? Nathan: I think if we look at it more we’ll discover that there is more going on and that gamers might be defining their own sort of hegemonic masculinity.

2. Ethnography of PUGs – Keith Cormier

[While describing why grouping is needed, Keith mentioned that on PvP servers the Horde are evil. And I’m just thinking, wow, can we not resort to generalizations and prejudices, even if jokingly these days? But of course, I play Horde…]

[Keith also mentioned that PUGs are temporary and there’s no allegiance outside of friends or guilds… but what does he mean by friends? I mean, on my server, lots of smaller guilds formed alliances in part because we needed to find enough of a pool of players to party with. Are we friends or do we hold some sort of other allegiance to each other?]

Did PUG members player party roles (leader, etc.) and class roles well?
[Similar to my distinction between different divisions of labor–based on elevated knowledge or addons, class roles, leadership from existing relationships, etc.]

Major influence on success–existence of good leadership. [Reminds me of LIFE’s research on Boeing teams and what caused certain people to take on the mantle of leadership. (Kieran’s stuff)]

Keith has charts on successful and unsuccessful groups and measures the number of times different stuff happened (was there leadership, was anything ninjaed, abandonment, etc.).

[Keith’s chart didn’t include existing relationships. Were none of them prior friends?]

Major disfunctions when argued over loot or there wasn’t an engaged leader. Otherwise, minor setbacks were usually dealt with okay.
Time and emotion are major factors.

3. When play becomes work – Roger Altizer
RMT effects – dead gnomes, spam, etc.
Method – videotape himself playing games.
This is important because issues that are normally hidden need to be addressed. For example, his tone changed and his way of speaking changed once his wife walked in on a play session.
Also cool in that he can analyze himself as part of text rather than from the 1st person. [A Scanner Darkly]
thick description – Geertz

4. Six-process gameplay model: A proposal for examining meaning and gameplay – Todd Harper
todd harper model.jpg - my photo taking skillz suxorz

There are different solutions to various games problems (MGS example) and they affect what the game experience is for the player. How to player choices affect meaning since they change what the game is.
Three theoretical frameworks:

  • Ludology (Aarseth, Frasca, Newman)
  • British Cultural Studies (Hall, Fiske, Jancovich)
  • Uses and Gratifications (Becker & McLeod, Ruggiero, Lucas & Sherry)

Methods: observations and focus groups
Three themes:

  • Goals
  • Exploration
  • Antecedents

six-process model:
Internal Antecedents–|
External Antecedents–| Goals — Exploration
Hybrid Antecedents—|

Gamers tried to play the “right” way.

[If there IS a right way, then ideologies are definitely being pushed by developers.]

5. Who owns this FAQ? – Mia Consalvo
Lots of companies are increasingly putting money into alternative ad spaces.
GameFAQs is owned by GameSpot owned by CNet, etc.
cultural studies vs. political economy
Who is the new commodity audience? [Free market rational economy only works with perfect information. Hah.]
Who is producing what and for whom?

keith roger nathan todd mia.jpg

One thought on “AoIR8 Day1: Thursday late afternoon: Player culture and gameplay expectations: Shifting norms and expectations”

Leave a Reply