Track: Games and Simulation

Title Featured Speaker: Kaseido Quandry
The Perky Pug: Engineering Play With Strangers in World of Warcraft
Author(s): John Carter McKnight
Date Saturday, March 19 11:00
Location: Central Auditorium
Abstract World of Warcraft is typically played “alone together:” players solo game content while chatting with friends in voice or text. However, from the beginning MMOs (massively multiplayer online games) have been built around the assumption that playing together, particularly playing with strangers, is inherently good. Game designers have evolved rules, penalties and incentives to push players together, whether they want to group or not. The ‘pick up group’ or PUG, is a product of social engineering, with its designers attempting to teach vital social, civic and political skills in the game space. This talk will examine designers’ motives for countering demands for solo play, the player experience of encouraged sociability, and trends in the engineering of social play.

Bio(s): John Carter McKnight: SL: Kaseido Quandry

Adjunct Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, and a PhD student in its College of Letters and Science. John’s research focuses on the implications of online communities for democracy and civic engagement. Previously, he was Prelaw Services Coordinator at ASU, a corporate finance attorney, and CEO of a startup spacesuit design firm. This semester he is co-teaching “Videogames, Learning and Literacy” to undergraduates and “Discourse, Community and Power in Virtual Worlds” at the graduate level. He’s a level 84 tanking paladin in World of Warcraft

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