I’m extremely tired at writing moment, but I couldn’t sleep because my head is just filled with thoughts that I just need to get out! So please excuse me for not linking to smart people – this is just me!
I kinda freaked out today, when I realised that my whole thesis is about reputation! It’s everywhere – and I wasn’t aware of it! It really scared the bejeebles out of me! When discussing the ontological state and identity of the avatar, reputation is essential. When discussing ownership and the attachment to virtual gaming goods, reputation is important. I had an interesting conversation with a friend who’s a WoW’er a while back (may have blogged about it actually) and he had been playing Oblivion for a while, which he thought was really cool but he missed the ‘bragging’ that WoW gave him. There he could show off the gains and riches from all his labor, he couldn’t do that with a single player game. And I think this is a perfect example of why players become so attached to their virtual property.

This is ofcourse so relevant on a social level as well. What guild you’re a part of, what type of gaming characters you know, how rich your social network is a.s.o. It’s all incredibly important in MMORPGs. I also think that your chosen path of gameplay method builds on your reputation as well – it defines who you are and what are we if we are not defined by others? Oh…I feel a shot of Foucault coming on! Also when you’re thinking about MMORPGs being some kind of collaborative fiction, your reputation is your authorship – which is built on your gameplay history. I mean…seriously! There’s a reason why we discuss this so immensely! Reputation is the main commodity in MMORPGs, and I know I’ve read that several places before! And I also feel that damaging a gamers reputation is the main way to govern these worlds – but we need to keep in mind what kind of reputation the player is striving for. Branding someone as a griefer, may just be the kind of reputation a player is playing for, which is why reputation systems to date, don’t always work as a governing force. Reputation as a game mechanic, man!!! Sometimes I feel like I need to know exactly how a complex society in real life actually functions before understanding what the hell is going on in MMORPGs – and lets face it, I don’t!
Now…how could all of this be a part of what I’m trying to write about and not really realising it before now? I’m just so confused! I’m wondering if I wasn’t completely off track when I thought maybe we could call an avatar’s reputation as their intellectual property. And….I think I’ve lost my mind! Why are these REALLY obvious things coming to light now? Why can’t I get things in my head down on paper? Sometimes I wonder if there’s just another mind in my fingers as I type! This is all a depressive sign of non-focus, which I really didn’t need a reminder of right now! But where has my head been these years?

4 thoughts on “Reputation

  1. Don’t be discouraged. This could and do happen to all of us. This is not that you have lost focus, it’s more like you have been too focused. There is a reason why most people find the “big red lines” the last few days before handing in a paper or a thisis (or before the exam). We cave into various interesting issues, not without focus, but with focus at one issue at a time. It’s common that you connect the threads in the end. I’m sure you’ll connect your threads in the conclusion :) You should be happy that you found the connection now, though I believe you’ll get a good grade no matter what. I’m looking forward to reading your thesis :)

  2. When you reach a certain point, you just have to draw a line and stop thinking about what you’re doing, wrap up the loose ends and finish your work.I’m guessing that you’ve been working with your thesis hard for so long that you’ve started to realize how very narrow it actually is. In my experience, that is usually the point where you should STOP thinking. You’ll go absolutely and definately bonkers if you don’t stop :)

  3. This close to handing in, you simply do what the poster above me said. You focus on just wrapping up and finishing.You can think later. This thesis is not the end of your academic career, but the beginning. All those things you are coming up with now are just things that you can work on later.A thesis is not a work of art, it’s a cobbled bit of writing that shows what you have been thinking about.And in the end, you will know much more about your topic than anyone who will be marking it. They haven’t been living eating breathing it like you have.

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