Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
World Builders: A Study on the Development of a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is a study of the development of a video game called Anarchy Online. This game was developed by the Funcom company between 1995 and 2001, and is a so-called Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). This genre of video games differs from traditional games in that it offers a persistent virtual world that gamers can access at all hours of the night or day. It is also a world where gamers make avatars that play with or against each other. All in all, it is as much a social sphere as a game. The popularity of MMORGPGs has continued to increase, and today there are several million gamers worldwide who participate in these virtual worlds. Because virtual worlds are places where many people socialize, play, and spend a great deal of time, there is a need to form an understanding of them. In this thesis, I am studying how Anarchy Online was produced in order to understand the assumptions behind the rules governing the interaction in this specific virtual world were selected and organized. In doing so, I am using material from two sources: the developers and the game itself. This material was gathered through interviews, documents, and virtual ethnographic observations.

Ultimately, games consist of codes; but in order to program the code, they need to be specified by a game content. The analysis shows that the content of the game is defined by the developers’ view of a good society – the belief in a human being’s need for self-actualization and social interaction. The thesis thus concludes with the observation that the need to select the discourses and/or philosophies for content and possible gamers’ actions requires the development of games and virtual worlds such as Anarchy Online to be more than the creation of an entertaining product. Rather, discourses were recreated from the physical world in which the developers live. In the end, gamers are locked into a discoursive prison created by the developers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2007. , 180 p.
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 62
Keyword [en]
MMORGPG, development, video game, organizing, discourse
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1134ISBN: 978-91-7264-250-8OAI: diva2:140327
Public defence
2007-06-05, Hörsal G, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15
Available from: 2007-05-11 Created: 2007-05-11Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(12024 kB)1686 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 12024 kBChecksum MD5
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Umeå School of Business
Business Administration

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1686 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1731 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link