Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games

By Edward Castronova | Go to book overview

INDEX
Note: The letter f following a page number denotes a figure and the letter t following a page number denotes a table.
Aarseth, Espen, 57
AcademySoft, 15
addiction to computer games, 64–65, 238, 253, 256, 277–78, 298n12. See also toxic immersion
ad hoc servers, 29, 83, 98, 142,143; political action on, 254. See also peer-to-peer systems
advancement system, 39–40, 107,110–13,114, 119–20; eBay as tool in, 151; experience points in, 41, 110, 111, 114; mundane tasks in, 177–78; switching costs and, 140. See also powers of characters; rewards; skills of avatars
advertising in games, 91,130, 259–60, 263,300n4
Age of Spiritual Machines (Kurzweil), 17–18, 278–79, 307n7
Age of Wonder, 276, 279
AI.implant, 228
air traffic simulation system, 158
al-Qaeda, 232, 233
America’s Army, 229, 230
anarchy, 207, 209, 210, 212–15, 217, 218; reputation systems and, 116
Anarchy Online, 300n 1
Anderson, Craig A., 298n 10
anonymity, online, 23, 255
armies: game mechanisms for formation of, 23,116, 249–50; virtual, intervening in synthetic worlds, 243–44. See also combat; military forces Army, US, 229, 230,305n 5
artificial intelligence (AI), 80, 93–97, 98; advancement system and, 112,119–20,300n4; bugs in, 181 conscious, 295n7; economics of game industry and, 139; economies of synthetic worlds and, 172 180,189–95, 199, 201–2, 304nn9–10; educational applications of, 252; future of human race and, 281, 282; governance and, 202, 211–12, 214, 217, 218; Matrix films and, 257; middleware for, 228, 229; movement and, 95–96, 299n12; pets and, 94, 95,120, 249; relationships provided by, 98, 120–21,124, 259, 260, 274–75, 281, 307n3; roles validated by, 108; taxonomy of worlds and, 103–4,105,106–7; toxic immersion and, 238; in user interface, 135; voice communications and, 90. See also mobs (mobile objects); NPCs (nonplayer characters) arts, synthetic world applications in, 259
Asherons Call 2, 249 Asia: gaming market structure in, 126–27; growth potential of online games, 66; number of gamers in, 52–53, 55, 250; trade in virtual items, 122, 301 n3. See also China; Japan; Korea; Thailand assembly: freedom of, surrendered, 239,305n 2; on peer-to-peer networks, 254; technology for, 23, 83–84
assets. See property of characters As You Like It (Shakespeare), 11, 295n4
Atari, 228, 289
Atwood, Margaret, 279
auctions. See eBay; trade in game items
augmented reality, 90
Aurora Toolkit for Neverwinter Nights, 228, 229
avatar capital, 41, 110; advantages over real world, 72; defined, 110; economics of, 174,187; legal status of, 157; loss of, 114; trade in, 44; transfer of, between worlds, 143. See also skills of avatars avatars: as bots for menial tasks, 181; as casual gaming interface, 55; as communication medium, 68–69, 89–90, 104–5,135; in Counter-Strike, 230, 231; creation of, 32–34; entertainment mediated by, 255; as entrepreneurs, 186–87; first encounter with, 36–38; gender of, 109,113,117,118, 142,171; as human characters, 48; improvements in rendering of, 88; rights of, 157, 217; of social worlds, 103, 104; as term used in gaming, 296n2; as user interface, 135; user’s identification with, 45, 48, 51; in Yahoo! Instant Messaging, 54. See also death of avatar; roles
Balkin, Jack M., 156,165
banking in synthetic worlds, 167–68,174, 202
Baron, David, 101

-319-

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Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction: The Changing Meaning of Play 1
  • Part I - The Synthetic World: a Tour 27
  • 1: Daily Life on a Synthetic Earth 29
  • 2: The User 51
  • 3: The Mechanics of World-Making 79
  • 4: Emergent Culture: Institutions Within Synthetic Reality 100
  • 5: The Business of World-Making 126
  • Part II - When Boundaries Fade 145
  • 6: The Almost-Magic Circle 147
  • 7: Free Commerce 161
  • 8: The Economics of Fun: Behavior and Design 170
  • 9: Governance 205
  • 10: Topographies of Terror 227
  • 11: Toxic Immersion and Internal Security 236
  • Part III - Threats and Opportunities 247
  • 12: Implications and Policies 249
  • 13: Into the Age of Wonder 267
  • Appendix: A Digression on Virtual Reality 285
  • Notes 295
  • References 311
  • Index 319
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