Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Epistemic cultures

604 views

Published on

Presentation at EASST2010 conference

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Epistemic cultures

  1. 1. Knowing play<br />The epistemic machinery of game culture<br />Kristine Ask<br />www.kristineask.com<br />
  2. 2. The magic circle crumbles<br />Learning: <br />Gee (2007), Steinkuehler (2004)<br />Expertise: <br />Chen (2009), Reeves et al (2009)<br />Emergence: <br />Karlsen (2009)<br />Co-production: <br />Postigo (2007), Taylor (200/)<br /><ul><li>Lesson learned: Play is an intellectual activity. </li></li></ul><li>Instrumental play<br />From powergamer culture<br />Effective, goal oriented, focus on numbers and performance<br />Play / work<br />Lesson learned: <br />Must study play empirically<br />
  3. 3. Research questions<br />What knowledge does a instrumental player use?<br />How is it created and shared?<br />Case: World of Warcraft<br />1 year ethnographic study of a player community in World of Warcraft (WoW)<br />Between 20 and 50 hours play pr week<br />Interviews with 19 WoW players at varying levels of progression<br />
  4. 4. Theoretical framework<br />Epistemic cultures (Knorr Cetina 1999): cultures that create and warrant knowledge<br />”how we know what we know”<br />Material, social and symbolic practices<br />
  5. 5. The Game in question: <br />MMORPG<br />A game platform of many subgames<br />Primary game: Developing the avatar<br />Virtual world<br />Up to 30 000 players<br />Avatars used to interact with the world<br />
  6. 6. Raiding<br /><ul><li>Large groups of players fighting challenging monsters
  7. 7. Set times
  8. 8. Team effort
  9. 9. Complicated
  10. 10. Little reward </li></ul>for much input<br /><ul><li>Organized</li></li></ul><li>The Avatar Ethos<br />Conventions about the right and wrong ways of customizing the avatar<br />Practices of customizing the avatar<br />Customization: <br />What equipment to use<br />How to specialize the avatar<br />What rotation of spells and abilities to use<br />What is this customization based on?<br />
  11. 11. Theorycraft<br />“Theorycraft is the attempt to mathematically analyze game mechanics in order to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of the game. “ <br />Wowwiki.com<br /><ul><li>A scientific approach to gaming
  12. 12. Game choices based on “proven facts”</li></li></ul><li>Example: Frostfire bolt<br />Game description<br />
  13. 13. Example: Frostfire bolt<br />Game description<br />avg_damage_per_cast_noncrit = (avg_cast_base_dmg + (spell_coefficient + empowered_fire + empowered_frostbolt + arcane_empowerment) * final_spell_dmg) * (firepower + ffb_glyph + spell_impact + arcane_blast_buff + arcane_power) * pwf * piercing_ice [* ebon_plaguebringer or coe+malediction or earth&moon] * arcane_instability * frostbolt_glyph * molten_fury [* sanctified_retribution or ferocious_inspiration] * tricks_of_the_trade * troll_beast_racial/worgen_racial<br />ex: frostfire bolt -- molten fury + berserking(20%) + bloodlust + icy veins + 4pct7 + CSD included, 2000 spelldmg, 55% crit, 500 haste ratingavg_damage_per_cast_noncrit = ( (722+838)/2 + (3/3.5 + 0.15) * 2000 spelldmg) * (1.1 + 0.02) * 1.03 * 1.06 * 1.13 * 1.12 =4324.43avg_damage_per_cast_critical = 4324.43 * (1 + 0.55 * (3.34565 - 1)) = 9903.41final_cast_time = 3 / (1 + 500/32.78998947/100) / 1.05 / 1.03 / 1.3 / 1.2 / 1.2 = 1.29<br />Theory-craftted version<br />
  14. 14. More examples<br />Threat modifiers are mechanics that increase or decrease your threat caused, per point of threat. Threat modifiers are multiplicative; so, when you see something like: "Reduces your threat by 30%", it means "Multiplies your threat by .7". Alternatively, you can reverse threat modifiers to see how much damage you gain by using threat modifiers. Threat modifier:<br />1 - [(1 - X) x (1 - Y) x (1 - Z)] = Threat Modifier <br />
  15. 15. How and why?<br />Hypothetical deductive method: <br />Problem, playtesting, analysis<br />Large playercommunity / critical mass<br />
  16. 16. How and why?<br />Hypothetical deductive method: <br />Problem, playtesting, analysis<br />Large playercommunity / critical mass<br />Precise knowledge about the game allows for more optimal customization<br />
  17. 17. Diffusion of expert knowledge?<br /><ul><li>Made operational through guides on how to customize the avatar
  18. 18. Knowledge is localized by the remaking and linking of guides in local and public forums</li></ul>Theory-craft<br />
  19. 19. Material<br />Online community<br />Digitalized<br />Viral<br />Explicit knowledge<br />”hard numbers”<br />Tools to understand the game<br />Simulators<br />Addons<br />Databases<br />
  20. 20. Material<br />Delegation of complexity <br />Precise <br />Sharing and storing of expertise<br />VS<br />
  21. 21. Social<br />Theorycraft community<br />Elitist Jerks<br />Volunteer based<br />Guilds are structured and formalized playergroups<br />Applications<br />Performance requirements<br />Sharing information as a way of socializing<br />
  22. 22. Symbolic<br />A game about numbers<br />Performance oriented <br />Evaluation of players<br />
  23. 23. The avatar ethos in play<br />Gaming is not about immersion, but performance<br />Pleasure, but not ”play”<br />Mastery is not just mastery over digital monsters: <br />Tools<br />Norms<br />Playing by numbers<br />
  24. 24. Playing in an epistemic culture<br />New players are introduced to a network of technologies, norms and practices where theorycraft is incorporated<br />Instrumental play as a resource<br />

×