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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A Gaming Generation Gap

May 10, 11 A Gaming Generation Gap

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The generations of games, from one patch to another, or from an original release to the expansions that follow, exist as a rapidly fading history. Because there is no way to recover the old versions of these games, they only exist in the players’ minds and quickly become the product of idealization and legend-making. In the player...

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Session Play: Linear Past in a Multi-Linear Medium

Mar 23, 11 Session Play: Linear Past in a Multi-Linear Medium

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One of the beauties of the MMO genre is its ability to create a virtual world that feels inhabitable and real. Players live in this other place, existing at a particular time in its history, perhaps slowly progressing along a storyline. In Lord of the Rings Online, although Tolkien’s narrative is vast and spans Ages, players exist...

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Deletion as Death Performance

Mar 09, 11 Deletion as Death Performance

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A new game has hit the MMO scene in the last couple of weeks and is making waves. RIFT has managed to draw a sizeable portion of the community at least temporarily away from their current homes. Many players are excitedly moving house from Azeroth to Telara, saying goodbyes to old friends and making new ones. For some players,...

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