Mergence of Spaces: MMORPG User-Practice and Everyday Life
In the introduction to his seminal book The Language of New Media, Lev Manovich (The MIT Press, Cambridge, 2001) expresses his concern that future researchers might not find adequate records and theories on emerging digital mediums. Manovich warned that ‘analytical texts from our era […] contain speculations about the future rather than a record and theory of the present’ (ibid. 7). In this chapter, we too argue that it is only by attending to the everyday that we gain access to sites where new media technologies are being negotiated and played out as ‘lived’ daily experiences. When applied to the fluid and configurative spaces of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG), it is possible to examine how such spaces form the very nature of everyday practice for its players. This chapter thus comprises an account of the way players inhabit an assortment of roles within role-playing spaces with a particular interest in the varying social and personal narratives that penetrate and extend the function of the fictional universes. What we find is a culture that transgresses the MMORPG space through its appropriation, active negotiation and reconfiguration of its social and material resources. In doing so, the present project aims to provide the very ‘theory of the present’ that Manovich once sought.
KeywordsVirtual World Virtual Space Game World Game Character Game Session
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