Okay, turns out we just waited 30 minutes and then all bussed over to Tenney Park. The rain did a pretty number on the park, though, and we were pretty much standing in a watery lawn the whole time.
But it was pretty cool. I talked with Debbie Fields about our respective research. I met someone working on a project for native american youth in Washington. I talked with Shawna Kelly and Lisa Galarneau (ironic 🙂 ) a bit. Met up with Brett Shelton (who was also at ICLS).
Dinner was catered by a local taco place. It was pretty good. The queso was good, as was the fish taco and tamale. I thought the beans and rice tasted funny but it was probably some spice I’m not used to. Seemed middle-eastern a bit, though…
After dinner we wished Kurt Squire a happy birthday with cake!
Then there was a karaoke band but I had to take off on the first bus with a bunch of TrN folk to meet up with Thomas Malaby, and Eric Ellis and Linda Polin (from Pepperdine). They were our rides over to the Union Building (not sure that’s the right url for it) for hella fun LAN raiding. We went to AQ20 and blasted through those bosses like they were queso succumbing to our crunchy tortilla chips.
I’m having technical difficulties uploading the videos I recorded during the Convergence Conference on Virtual Worlds that occurred in World of Warcraft earlier this month. Those videos will be uploaded shortly. Meanwhile here’s the chat transcripts from the three sessions.
Yes, I started a Rickroll… 🙂 Slightly disorganized, since the panelists and attendees were all using guild chat, but I didn’t mind the chaos. Read about the session and panelists at http://convergentsystems.pbwiki.com/Session%201
- 20080510conference.txt – Chat from Convergence Conference, Day 2, Sat May 10. Panel session. Questions included learning in VWs.
A little less disorganized. Chat backchannel with Terror Novas about making it more orderly, but I felt uncomfortable with the idea of enforcing control. Maybe it’s a generational thing? I thought the stream of info was fine and that the panelist answers could just be in a separate channel, rather than forcing non-panelists into silence as seemed to be suggested. Read about the session and panelists at http://convergentsystems.pbwiki.com/Session+2
A massive info dump where lots of attendees discussed answers to the day’s questions. Afterwards there was an in-game wedding and then a raid on Sentinel Hill. For the Horde! Read about the session at http://convergentsystems.pbwiki.com/Session+3
Also, check out my screenshots!
I briefly mentioned this last month, but my WoW paper finally got reviewed and recommended for acceptance pending revisions. I submitted the revision today. The two main issues were:
- Not enough in the meat of the paper that ties it back to theory from the beginning of the paper. It appeared that the reviewer knows all about game theory (individual incentives for cooperation) and thought that the description of raiding and the conclusions didn’t refer enough back to it. Ironically, I deliberately cut out some game theory talk because I needed to make the paper shorter but also because I wanted to deemphasize game theory and mental constructs. Rather, I tried to describe actual player behavior and practice. But I realize that what I actually wanted to do was contrast mechanics-based incentives with socially constructed incentives. So I did that in the revision.
- The raid group I was in is not a good case study as most raid groups are comprised of members from the same guild. I really am not sure the reviewer is right here, but conceded in the revision that my group might have been different from the norm due to the particular conditions of the Horde faction on my server. But ethnography and case studies, as far as I can tell, will always emphasize the differences and uniqueness of particular groups. That’s the whole point; to make the mundane seem extraordinary and to make the extraordinary seem mundane.
Anyway, for my dissertation work, I’ll be moving away from social dilemmas and game theory towards social construction of meaning, distributed cognition, and social dynamics and power relations.
I also plan to do a review of the raid groups I can identify and figure out exactly how many of them are guild exclusive to see if my raid group really was out of the ordinary. Blizzard (as evidenced by the Armory) and the game research community certainly subscribe to the notion that raids = guilds. I just don’t buy it yet.
After collecting auction data over the weekend, putting pretty much everything I have in my banker mules on auction yesterday, then collecting the money and selling anything that didn’t get bid on, and finally depositing all my gold into the guild bank, I quit WoW today. I almost teared up yesterday and today. Auctioning everything and then collecting my mail took hours. Yeesh!
But the tears (almost) were from melancholy as I’ve spent a good 3 years of my life with WoW and have made many friends (who I hope to see in future games). And of course, my dissertation is on WoW players as they learn teamwork in raids.
I sent some farewell messages to non-guildies (as I plan on keeping in touch with the guild through our online forums) and sat next to Thrall in Nagrand while logging out.
Ironically, for some reason all my characters had a present in their mail for the collector’s edition pet. I don’t know if all players who bought the collector’s edition were likewise affected, but, after 3 years, Thoguht was finally able to get a panda. Damn you, Blizzard! 😛