(Nicked from flemco:)
A staple of nerd subculture for almost three decades, fantasy role-playing games have taken on new life in the era of networked computing. High-speed connections, sophisticated graphics and powerful microprocessors have paved the way for massively multiplayer on-line role-playing games (MMORPG’s) such as Everquest, Anarchy Online, and Asheron’s Call.
In this course, we will conduct an ethnographic study of the behaviors, cultural practices, and motivations of MMORPG players. The course packet will include readings that explore role-playing games, virtual community, and the construction of identity on-line. Extensive attention will also be given to methods for conducting research on- line.
In lieu of a textbook, you are expected to purchase a copy of the Everquest Trilogy software (approximately $20 retail). You must also commit to a three-month subscription at the rate of $12.95 per month. Since the first month is free, the total expenditure for computer supplies is approximately $46. A significant amount of class time will be spent in the virtual world, but you are also expected to conduct on-line research outside of class.