Problems of Prestige, part 2: Wearing It on Your Sleeve

Jan 16, 13 Problems of Prestige, part 2: Wearing It on Your Sleeve

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One of the most obvious forms of prestige is that of armor. Even in Homer from where I am drawing inspiration for this series, armor is an important visual component linked to an individual. For example, nearly an entire book of the Iliad is dedicated to describing the shield that Hephaestus makes for Achilles. In beautiful poetry,...

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Problems of Prestige, part 1: the World of Homeric Warcraft

Dec 06, 12 Problems of Prestige, part 1: the World of Homeric Warcraft

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One of the most interesting aspects of MMO culture is that of prestige, and we can find a parallel in the ancient Homeric world of Achilles and the Trojan War. In this series, I will look at how prestige factors into the value system of both cultures and consider the problems this understanding of worth encounters in a sub-culture...

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RIFT Part 2, Faction Identity Construction

Dec 13, 11 RIFT Part 2, Faction Identity Construction

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Last time, I spoke about how culture in RIFT, an MMO from Trion, is constructed (or not constructed) across the various character races and how this impacts player experience through their avatar. I want to look at the same kind of idea today, but through the lens of narrative and story instead of primarily visual representations of...

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The Lore Keepers: Keeping Track of Who Begat Whom

Apr 12, 11 The Lore Keepers: Keeping Track of Who Begat Whom

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A lot of players care about the histories of the fictive worlds they spend their time in. Case and point, a handful of World of Warcraft books have made it on the New York Times Bestseller list. As I have been thinking about these game world histories it strikes me that there are two different modes here, and I am curious to see...

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Past-Time: Re-Encountering Everquest

Feb 16, 11 Past-Time: Re-Encountering Everquest

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In the MMO gaming community, and perhaps among all gamers, one can often hear a plaintive lament for the good old days. Each new offering in the genre makes things easier, dumbs down gameplay and caters to the casuals, if you believe the forum trolls. “I remember when death was a punishment! Now it doesn’t mean...

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