BCM 215 Contextual report

I found Amy Jo Kim’s book: “Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Online Communities” to be most helpful in describing my thoughts. I shared the same thinking with Kim and I could quote her when writing my digital artefact. Week 8’s reading: “Of Mods and Modders: Chasing Down the Value of Fan-Based Digital Game Modification.” also helped me understand MMORPGs more. Twin Saga has game mods that are assigned by Aeria Games. They work there and are in charge of overseeing game activities. They also have their own toons with their own special privileges. Although they cannot play as a regular player, they have an infinite amount of resources at their disposal and they can give themselves and other players buffs. They can also teleport to different maps to fast-travel which players can definitely not do. However, this means they cannot enjoy the game as regular players do. Their names will not appear on the leaderboards as they are special entities to help monitor and aid players instead of playing the game themselves. I could see the special roles of gamemasters as mods and how they were different to the common players. They are an important part of the game and made the game experience more better with the various events, especially keeping the game flow smoothly.

Throughout the entire research process, I held the gamer identity and sense of belonging because of the interaction with other players in a high regard. We come across this for a brief time during our lecture about Nostalgia and creating a gamer identity. I could relate it to my own personal experience as I had been playing MMORPGs since 2009, I share a strong connection with this genre of games as I have always loved the idea of being in a different world filled with magic and wonder, slowly becoming stronger and beating monsters alongside my friends. This connection I had with this genre as well as my experience with this game genre in the past made it resonate with me more as I planned out how to go on about my digital artefact.

My digital artefact explains the culture of MMORPGs to the general public. About the intricacies of its economy and player-base. How one’s identity and world-view can be affected simply by playing them. And how they engage with people from different cultures around the world, becoming part of a singular culture as a player of MMORPG and thus creating its own unique culture in the game. What is so special about this is that unlike other games where you may put the games on a shelf somewhere after finishing the game. MMORPG is special in the fact that you can always get stronger, there will always be updates for a higher level cap and more difficult dungeons. This means new gear and classes are bound to be released. Regular monthly and seasonal events give a fresh look to the game every month. A dedicated team is behind to update patches and maintain servers. Not to mention listening to the feedback of the fanbase through its official discord server to improve the game. And hosting in-game and offline events for the players regularly. All of this involves players to take part and deepen their sense of belonging and identity with the game.

A comment I have received asked me to include my personal experience when playing the MMORPG. And I did. I talk about how important the economy was, the events that strengthen my sense of belonging in the community, as well as the bond I shared with guildmates and friends I have made during my time in the game and how it affects my identity as a player of MMORPGs. Another comment asked me how the game works, and I have described it in detail in my digital artefact.

Iteration stages:

In my first stage, I was leaning towards the player vs player aspect of MMORPGs. I received comments from the lecturer that it was too vague so I changed my topic to…

The economy of MMORPGs. I received feedback to include my own personal experience and to describe how the game worked. I did that in my next blog. However, it was too similar to my group project so finally I changed it into…

The culture of MMORPGs. Since, I had a lot of experience playing MMORPGs, I could provide my own insight into its culture and how different aspects affected it.

To conclude, I have gone over several resource materials both from popular and scholarly sources. I have talked about the topic of MMORPG culture in terms of its economy, events, and relationships with other players. I have included ideas from the lectures and reading materials. I have talked about how my nostalgia and experience with the MMORPG genre resonated with me on a much deeper level to the point I connected with it. I have gone over how my digital artefact can provide to the community on a general level. And have provided evidence of my reaction to the feedback I received from the general public with the iterations I have made to my digital artefact.

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