Monthly Archives: April 2015

EVE is Real

My co-authors and I just sent off the final version of “EVE is Real” to this year’s DiGRA organizers.  This collaborative piece takes a look at EVE from four different perspectives to unpack the colloquial phrase “EVE is Real”. If you’ve read my other work about EVE, it should be no surprise that my contribution is the section “are some parts of EVE more real than others?”

Eventually it will make its way into the DiGRA Digital Library, but you can read an advance copy of this paper online here.  I am not attending this year’s conference as it cuts a bit too close to CGSA, but I will be looking forward to reading the proceedings and seeing the lively discussions on the hashtag!

Carter, M., Bergstrom, K., Webber, N. & Milik, O. (in press). “EVE is Real”. In Proceedings of DiGRA 2015 Conference: Diversity of play: Games – Cultures – Identities. 1-17.

EVE is Real
Used in a wide variety of contexts, a common colloquialism among EVE Online players is the phrase ‘EVE is real’. In this paper, we examine the various ways in which EVE is considered ‘real’ by its players, identifying a nuanced and powerful concept that goes significantly beyond real/virtual distinctions that have already been critiqued in game studies literature. We argue that, as a form of paratext, colloquialisms like this play an enormous role in shaping EVE Online’s informal rules (in particular towards treachery), constructing the identity of EVE Online players, communicating the seriousness of EVE Online play while in other cases, emphasizing the gameness of the MMOG

New paper! Supplemental measures of player expertise in MMOGs

It seems like the only time I update this blog is to make an announcement about a new publication 🙂

I am happy to announce that ‘The keys to success’ is now in print. This is a revised version of the paper presented at ICA 2014 (where we won first place in the Game Studies best paper award category). As with all of my work, if you don’t have access to this paper please send me a note and I am happy to share an author’s copy.

Kelly Bergstrom, Jennifer Jenson, Richard Hydomako, and Suzanne de Castell.  The keys to success: Supplemental measures of player expertise in Massively Multiplayer Online Games. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds. 7(1) pp. 101-121. DOI: 10.1386/jgvw.7.1.101_1

The keys to success: Supplemental measures of player expertise in Massively Multiplayer Online Games
In this article we describe an investigation of player expertise deployed as part of a mixed-methods longitudinal, multi-site study that examined whether and how players’ offline characteristics are recognizable in their online interactions in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). After detailing our methodology and analytical toolkit, we narrow our focus to a case study that examines three players with previous experience in First-Person Shooter (FPS) games playing Rift (Trion Worlds 2011) (a fantasy-themed MMOG) for the very first time. This case study illuminates how interpretation of data can be inadvertently influenced by the researcher’s choice of technologies and methods employed in their study design. In particular, we demonstrate that initial research assessments of a player’s level of skill may be inaccurate and how the use of multiple data sources acts as a means for triangulating observations and analyses providing a richer – yet more complicated – view of player expertise.