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World of scriptcraft. The collective remaking of computergames


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Presentation at 4S in 2009

Published in: Entertainment & Humor
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World of scriptcraft. The collective remaking of computergames

  1. 1. World of Scriptcraft? Gamers’ collective remaking of computer games Kristine Ask
  2. 2. Computergames as code <ul><li>How can computer games help us understand code and coding? </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating the code is a goal in it self </li></ul>
  3. 3. From code to script <ul><li>A semiotic approach to user/technology relationships </li></ul><ul><li>“ A large part of the work of innovators is that of “inscribing ” this vision of a the world in the technical object. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Akrich 1992: 208 </li></ul><ul><li>Data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>9 Qualitative interviews with players </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing deep ethnographic work in player community: playing, participating, observing, talking </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Game in question: <ul><li>MMO RP G </li></ul>Virtual world Up to 30 000 players Avatars used to interact with the world A game platform of many subgames Primary game: Killing monsters
  5. 5. Raiding <ul><li>Large groups of players fighting challenging monsters </li></ul><ul><li>From emergence to mainstream </li></ul>
  6. 6. Raiding = play or work? <ul><li>Raiding: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team effort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complicated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Little reward for much input </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work can still be fun </li></ul><ul><li>Raiding is instrumental, yet passionate </li></ul>
  7. 7. De-scripting a virtual monster <ul><li>Decoding the clues of the encounter is part of the challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Requires coordination and attentiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Limited time to complete </li></ul>+ 24 other avatars VS Me Boss monster: Kologarn
  8. 8. Example: Kologarn <ul><li>Kologarns abilities are: </li></ul><ul><li>Shockwave: Damages all </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Says “Oblivion!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stone Grip: Targets 3 and locks them in his hand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Says: “I will squeeze the life from you!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focused eyebeam: Targets and follows players </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual: Blue streams across the floor </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Extending the code: In game re-scription <ul><li>Addons: Usermade software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bossmods </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Translator, timekeeper and commander </li></ul><ul><li>Bossmods – The raids 26th member </li></ul>
  11. 11. Extending the code: Out of game re-scription <ul><li>Code extends outside the game </li></ul><ul><li>Forums as the arena for continuation </li></ul>
  12. 12. The extended code of Kologarn <ul><li>3 page thread </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions regarding problems and solutions: </li></ul><ul><li>“ If you're melee and being targetted, just stripe left and follow the left edge of the room to the back. The beams should end before you run into the main raid. 1 time last night someone stripe to the right leading the beams right through the MT * spot. Not cool. ” </li></ul><ul><li>*MT is a player with a specific task: ensuring the monster only target the most resilient </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Maps to explain positioning </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Links to relevant webpages: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Movies, Strategies, Databases </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Logs </li></ul>
  16. 16. From extending code to re-scription <ul><li>Indexicality </li></ul><ul><li>Reaction to the script, re-scripted as more </li></ul>
  17. 17. Collective re-scription <ul><li>The re-scription is done by the community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bossmods are taken for granted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums used to recount, interpret and plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assembly of tools/technologies: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Films </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Guides </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Logs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Game </li></ul></ul></ul>