Virtual Exploratory

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    Some of the advanced features of the Massively Multi-user Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) enable the actors to construct and create one or more presentations and constructions of the “self” (Schroeder, 2002, 2006), thereby assuming numerous social roles (Clemmensen, 2007). Serving this purpose, the games provide the actors with galleries of pre-designed classes of avatars to use as “templates”. In order to personalise the pre-designed templates and classes, the actors must solve a series of individual or common quests to increase their level of experience and expertise. In the ongoing research project “actors and avatars communicating in virtual worlds” these are activities that are considered to be complex acts of reflection (Dewey, 1933). In the project, video interviews (Jensen, 2005) were conducted with a group of in situ actors while they played EverQuest in their familiar setting. Presenting some of the preliminary findings, we will follow Sia and her preferred character “Gelinu the Shaman,” and Jan, who plays only one avatar “Gnossiz the Gnome.” They have been chosen to exemplify markedly different playing styles. Although in the two field studies the playing styles of the role-players were markedly different, it seems that the acts of reflection, the sense-making strategies, and the learning and knowledge-sharing activities are important aspects of the game. Also, some of the findings from the video interviews indicate that we need further research the importance of the non-person characters of the game. It seems that we should consider the full potential of the pre-programmed, personified, embodied, and provocative acts and events of the non-person characters so that we may learn from the MMORPGs how to make the most of the actors’ and their avatars’ new interaction with the computer-mediated non-person characters.

    Emneord: massively multi.user online role-playing games
    Periode28 mar. 2007
    BegivenhedstitelCAL 07 Development, disruption, and debate
    PlaceringTrinity University, StorbritannienVis på kort