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’Oh, I Like My Horse, but I Love My Flying Mount!’ Joys of Mobility in the On-line Game World of Warcraft

Enevold, Jessica LU (2008) 7th European Social Science History Conference, 2008
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

It is today commonplace that games and virtual worlds are not only multi-billion dollar businesses but also momentous socio-cultural phenomena that require critical attention. Massively Multiplayer On-line Games (MMOGs) are these days becoming recognized not only as grounds for play within ‘magic circles’ but also as complex and significant social spaces with 24-7 access to the millions of gamers who inhabit them. If the idea of MMOGs as closed off playgrounds is rejected, such games and their gamers, engaging in social and virtual geographies, may be viewed as transport systems and users whose socio-cultural constructions of mobility can be studied to identify barriers to, and alternative... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

It is today commonplace that games and virtual worlds are not only multi-billion dollar businesses but also momentous socio-cultural phenomena that require critical attention. Massively Multiplayer On-line Games (MMOGs) are these days becoming recognized not only as grounds for play within ‘magic circles’ but also as complex and significant social spaces with 24-7 access to the millions of gamers who inhabit them. If the idea of MMOGs as closed off playgrounds is rejected, such games and their gamers, engaging in social and virtual geographies, may be viewed as transport systems and users whose socio-cultural constructions of mobility can be studied to identify barriers to, and alternative strategies for, more sustainable mobility solutions. Game design thus becomes a potential arena for crafting and providing alternative models of mobility.



This paper focuses on mobility in the world’s number one on-line role-playing game, World of Warcraft (Blizzard 2004) as experienced by a number of players and as expressed in the Swedish fan-magazine “Level presents World of Warcraft”, particularly an article on in-game mounts. Players produce as much as consume play, here read: mobility, but the game (mechanics) does control player movement in crucial ways. This paper seeks to show how traditionally positive values of mobility are employed by gamers and in the game design to enhance, inspire and prolong gameplay. Mobility is understood as central to the game experience, its playability, marketing and resulting commercial success. Although there is, at least on the surface, a democratization of mobility in operation e.g. in terms of safe and equal – gender and race-neutral access and public transportation options, the dominant configuration and use of mobility speaks of a very traditional mobility view with limited innovative mobility visions leaving much to be desired in view of the seemingly endless possibilities that game design and simulation might offer. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
mobility, space, ludic space, gender, mmorpg, mmos, game design
pages
16 pages
conference name
7th European Social Science History Conference, 2008
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
07edaa81-d410-41e0-a88a-5db44e6f8608 (old id 1496066)
date added to LUP
2009-11-05 13:13:31
date last changed
2016-07-08 11:28:15
@misc{07edaa81-d410-41e0-a88a-5db44e6f8608,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
It is today commonplace that games and virtual worlds are not only multi-billion dollar businesses but also momentous socio-cultural phenomena that require critical attention. Massively Multiplayer On-line Games (MMOGs) are these days becoming recognized not only as grounds for play within ‘magic circles’ but also as complex and significant social spaces with 24-7 access to the millions of gamers who inhabit them. If the idea of MMOGs as closed off playgrounds is rejected, such games and their gamers, engaging in social and virtual geographies, may be viewed as transport systems and users whose socio-cultural constructions of mobility can be studied to identify barriers to, and alternative strategies for, more sustainable mobility solutions. Game design thus becomes a potential arena for crafting and providing alternative models of mobility.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
This paper focuses on mobility in the world’s number one on-line role-playing game, World of Warcraft (Blizzard 2004) as experienced by a number of players and as expressed in the Swedish fan-magazine “Level presents World of Warcraft”, particularly an article on in-game mounts. Players produce as much as consume play, here read: mobility, but the game (mechanics) does control player movement in crucial ways. This paper seeks to show how traditionally positive values of mobility are employed by gamers and in the game design to enhance, inspire and prolong gameplay. Mobility is understood as central to the game experience, its playability, marketing and resulting commercial success. Although there is, at least on the surface, a democratization of mobility in operation e.g. in terms of safe and equal – gender and race-neutral access and public transportation options, the dominant configuration and use of mobility speaks of a very traditional mobility view with limited innovative mobility visions leaving much to be desired in view of the seemingly endless possibilities that game design and simulation might offer.},
  author       = {Enevold, Jessica},
  keyword      = {mobility,space,ludic space,gender,mmorpg,mmos,game design},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {16},
  title        = {’Oh, I Like My Horse, but I Love My Flying Mount!’ Joys of Mobility in the On-line Game World of Warcraft},
  year         = {2008},
}