sabato, maggio 06, 2006

bad guys online

Jill Walker reported a funny story originally blogged from Liz Lawley. Liz was online doing her work when she has been contacted by a friend that told her that Liz's teenage son was Ninja-looting in an instance in world of warcraft. The friend asked Liz to go online to tell her son to stop. There are several aspects that have could lead us to a very interesting debate: - zero: in MMORPG there are games rules set by the game designers and social rules that comes out from social interaction. - first: MMORPG are places where you can test your social behaviors: your ability to follow the rules and to act in a cooperative way. - second: what we do in MMORPG doesn't seems to be perceived by others players in the same way they perceive actions in offline videogames. The point zero should be considered as a common ground on which we can start analyze social practices in Online games. Something that should be widely accepted. The two following point are deeply connected one to the other. If MMORPG are a place where you can test you social skills (or, even worst, a place where you have to show your social skills) that leads us to the conclusion that MMORPG are not like the offline games. Some years ago when people wondered about psychological consequences of gaming and the most conservative thinkers were saying things like "if you play Quake you're surely going to shoot all your schoolmates" the usual answer of pro-gaming faction was "ehi, wait a moment... gamers are usually able to distinguish between real and virtual world. So they can act as a serial killer while they play Postal and being a very respectable fully integrated person in their life". So, where's the difference? Why act in a bad way playing alone is something less dangerous that act in a bad way when you are online? First objection that comes to my mind is that bad behavior is a rule of certain game and if you want to play that game you have to act in that way: if you want to play at quake you have to kill a lot of alien monster, if you want to play at Grand theft auto you'll be asked to do a lot of crimes. If you don't want: change game. Anyway this is not a very strong objection. There are several games where you can reach the end of the game both acting in a positive or in a negative way. The first that comes in my mind is Baldur's Gate where you can go trough the story as a good pity Paladin or as a bad shady sob thief. Obviously the answer is that where you've got to manage the social relationship act in a trusty way is far more important because the way you act is part of the social order (the rules) that are necessary to move on with the game. Just a final note: if it's so. MMORPG shouldn't be considered a way to release unexpressed aggressive behavior (highly unsocial) like others video-games were often considered.


At 5/09/2006 07:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonimo said...

L'anonimato è necessario per stabilire un'interazione con chi probabilmente non ne ha lo stesso interesse perchè consente protezione... dovresti saperlo!

At 11/23/2006 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonimo said...

a professore...lei mi intriga..


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