Help – stressed!! – updated!

Kjellvis found it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!

Earlier today (this is a weird way of updating a post, huh?):

I’m at work which allows for near zero surf time – and I’m freaking out about my oral exam/defence of thesis and phd proposal deadline tomorrow. I don’t know how I’m going to get everything done by tomorrow when I actually have to work to pay the rent! Annoying!

But anyways – I’m looking for a video – which my stressed out googling skills just can’t find and would adore any help!

About a year ago (I think – time is such an demented factor) a video circled the web of some boys playing a game on their computer. It looked something like Battlefield – but I’m not sure. They were torturing the poor avatar soldier – crashing him against walls and making him fall off high buildings. Suddenly the door to the boy’s room is kicked in and the avatar gets his revenge. I’m sure I found the film at Kotaku – but I can’t seem to enter from this lovely computer.

So? Do you know what I’m talking about? Oh I will love you forever if you bother sending it to me!!!! Would be a tremendous help!!!

I suppose I should include some Valentine’s thing here as well, like everyone else – but today I reserve the right to be a bitter old fat hag! So there! Hehe! Who said I was in a bad mood?

Real Market Trade

Heya!!! Does anyone know where I can get the current figures for worldwide RMT? I know, I should have a site somewhere, but for some bizarre reason I can’t find it!! The latest numbers I can find are from Dec. 2005 – it must be much larger now!!! Any help appreciated! Will love you for always and forever!!!! ;)

Breakfast with Nick Yee

I spent this morning curled up on my sofa with breakfast and coffee and watched Nick Yee’s presentation at PARC – “The Blurring Boundaries of Play: Labor, Genocide, and Addiction”. Every now and then it’s good to have a ‘step back and see the whole picture’ presentation – I thoroughly enjoyed it! Ofcourse Mr. Yee’s fabulous work on why people play is represented, but he also covers the terrain of addiction, gold farming and ‘the new golf’!
Definitely a good start for anyone wanting to look into MMORPGs and what they’re all about. Any new students wondering what to write about? Watch, watch, watch!!! To me, it was a joyous breakfast, but now…I’m gonna be late for a lecture!

News Games

So there’s two new News Games (I guess that’s what we’re calling them now) out, that just claw viciously at my definition of game.
Either way, they weren’t very enjoyable for me and I’m saddened that anyone would! I suppose this is why the word ‘fun’ isn’t a requisite in any formal definition of game. Nasral is…well…just filled with some really nasty connotations! Which I suppose has all the qualities to properly be defined as a game, just my lack of fun while playing it. But fun is a point of view, isn’t it? I mean, I don’t have fun playing car racing games either (hmm…should brush up on my Koster). So I guess it’s a perfect example of how games can ‘mean’ something, and I’m not just talking narrative here, we’re talking real Bogostian theory! And then there’s this one with Google maps – impossible to gain points, which I guess is the point! Gruesome!
(via Guardian Games Blog via WaterCoolerGames)

"…even if their world doesn’t really exist."

Clickable Culture reports on a lawsuit made against Linden Lab for “a virtual land deal gone sour”. From what I gather, Marc Bragg found some glitch in the system (bug?) of Second Life where he could buy land for under the market value. He decided to invest in this discovery and see if he could make a profit when he proceeded to sell the land for market value.

And from what I gather something suddenly happened that made him loose his Second Life account. According to Bragg, Linden Lab terminated his account “without explanation, without citing any violation of community policy, and have since refused offer a credit or a refund”.

Bragg in a statement says: “These games are like the virtual Wild West, but Linden Lab is still obligated to honor real-world contract law and consumer law, even if their world doesn’t really exist.”

Of course he’s right! Second Life has a potent market with US dollars and since they’ve issued Intellectual Property rights to their citizens – they really do have to think about real life contract and consumer law. Second Life very much exists then, if you ask me. But by what laws should they adhere to? Don’t get me wrong, I love what Second Life has done! But with it comes some democratic responsibility and not dictatorial rule. I’m no lawyer, so I’m not sure – and to be honest, lawsuits like this kinda scare me for what’s going happen in the future. I, for one, don’t want too much reality in virtual worlds although it is exciting to see it evolving, it’s like a whole new society being born – and that is fun!

I find it really suprising if Linden Lab truely has behaved in this manner. They must have been prepared for this happening somehow, haven’t they? And I’m sure they’re within their rights of punishing those who take advantages of bugs for profit (after all, we’re not talking about a game here, we’re talking about reality) – but to just cut him off with no reason, no explanation and furthermore no dialogue! I’m sure they could have worked something out, somehow and learned from this ‘glitch’! So…I’m not sure if this is really the way it all went down – I’m looking forward to hearing Linden Lab’s response!

Virtual money available from RL cash machines

Well there we go! The transition has been made! Project Entropia has finally released a cash card that “allows people to access their virtually acquired PEDs (Project Entroipia Dollars) and convert them into real money at any cash machine in the world”!
It seems only natural that Project Entropia would be the first to do this, as the description goes: “The Entropia Universe is not a game. The Entropia Universe is for real. Real people, real activities and a Real Cash Economy in a massive online universe” – it’s reeked capitalist hunger ever since we started hearing about the $100,000 space station.

I’m really hoping that no true MMORPGs are gonna end up doing this! Seriously, I’m more and more against RMT and rather protect the magic circle of the game! Being the financially retarded person, that I am – I would never get anywhere in the world that I love to play in and escape to! I would end up being on the bottom level all the time! And I would have to make these gruesome decisions like should I liquidate (thats what they say on all the Wall Street films at least) my virtual posessions so that I can go be sociable with RL friends but be completely broke in-game or just sit at home and play and forget RL entirely? I mean…I would hate to be confronted with those decisions!

I do however, believe that MMORPG players should be given some symbolic license of authorship somehow – but that’s another blog post all together.

Picture taken from the Make: article: The Future of Credit Cards – Earning virtual currency for spending in the real world & other world bridging.

Sony Station Exchange and GMs responsabilities

So, yeah! I’m still trying to write about intellectual property rights within MMORPGs. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that reputation is a commodity in MMORPGs, both for the game developers and the gamers themselves, and I’m wondering if it is this reputation that is or should be protected within intellectual property rights! Firstly I’ve used Eriksson and Grill’s DiGRA 2005 paper “Who owns my avatar? – Rights in virtual property” for inspiration to illustrate the different interests game developers and gamers have in intellectual property rights. From their excellent paper:

“Two main interests are discernible in connection to the game producers:

  1. Subscription interest – virtual trade may decrease a game producer’s income from subscriptions. If new players buy advanced characters for real money they won’t have to spend time in the game (which they consequently would have to pay for) advancing their own avatars. The subscription interest is also affected by the fact that the game producer may get a bad reputation by letting people with more money than time buy themselves into the game, resulting in gamers leaving the virtual world
  2. Control interest – developers have an interest in remaining in control over their creation. In part, this may be a purely creative interest, quite separable from the subscription interest. Often, producers wish that their virtual world should remain a game only. The recognition of ownership rights in the virtual world of their game may thus conflict with their wish to control that world. Producers therefore try to establish norms implying that trade in virtual property with real money should not exist”

Venting thoughts!

Otherwise my Easter has been spent lying on the couch ignoring social circles because ‘I’ve got so much work to do’ and watching tv and letting my eyes wander warily over to my computer with a passionate hatred!

I’ve kinda gotten myself into a sticky situation, which I’m either overthinking or I just need to drop it all together. Let me share it with you! I’m trying to explain the attachment we feel to our virtual assets in MMORPGs and I thought I’d found the perfect example. Now, let me point out that I want to go on to explain the distrust of the coding authorities (excellent word, Castronova!) to rectify such situations. So let me just vent out here:
Madelaine, a player in The Sims Online (TSO) loves to build houses! One time she had spent a lot of time, love and effort on a house which was fabulous! A friend of hers was constantly hassling her with wishes to buy it. Madelaine was flattered and in the end gave in! A few days later Madelaine came to me quite distraught. She had just found out that her friend had copied the house from Alphaville to Blazing Falls (another virtual city in TSO) and was passing it off as her own design. Madelaine was quite distraught, and rightly so in my opinion. So this is where I get into trouble! I don’t understand Intellectual Property Law! I thought this was a perfect example of that, and the more I think about it, the more I think it has to do with copyright.

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