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MMO morality

Bartle, RA (2012) 'MMO morality.' In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) Computer Games and New Media Cultures: A Handbook of Digital Games Studies. UNSPECIFIED, 193 - 208. ISBN 9789400727762

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When people sign up to play a game, they have broad expectations as to what will be involved in terms of time commitment, gameplay, skill requirements, genre and atmosphere. If the game does not meet their standards, they don’t play. This is as true of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMOs) as it is of Monopoly. Otherwise, so long as what you’re asked to do sits within the boundaries of your expectations, you can happily immerse yourself. Sometimes, however, you may be asked during play to do something outside what you thought were the boundary lines. For example, if you were enjoying a cerebral role-playing game and suddenly discovered that in order to progress you had to undertake a fast-reactions, high-speed racing mini-game, your level of engagement might be compromised (Yes, I’m talking to you, Knights of the Old Republic). When this kind of thing happens, you are tugged out of the game back into reality; you then have to make the decision as to whether to carry on playing or not. This chapter considers one particular kind of expectation held by players of MMOs - the morality imbued in the game world’s fiction - and examines problems that can arise when the views of players and the game’s designer fall out of step. It concludes with an assessment of what this means for the morality of game design itself.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2015 10:33
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2021 11:15

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