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War in Synthetic Worlds

War in Synthetic Worlds

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Published by Jan Van Der Crabben
Most online games let players fight each other, but this fighting
does not constitute war. This article explains why it is not war, how games can
be designed for war, and how online games can be useful for the academic
study of war.
Most online games let players fight each other, but this fighting
does not constitute war. This article explains why it is not war, how games can
be designed for war, and how online games can be useful for the academic
study of war.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Jan Van Der Crabben on Apr 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/06/2013

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War in Synthetic Worlds
MA War Studies, King's College London Jan van der Crabben
War in Synthetic Worlds
How to make people fight each other in MMORPGsand what we can learn from it.
King's College LondonMA War Studies DissertationJan van der Crabben0535739
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War in Synthetic Worlds
MA War Studies, King's College London Jan van der Crabben
Table of Contents
Table of Contents................................................................................................................................. 2Acronyms............................................................................................................................................. 3Introduction.......................................................................................................................................... 4Overview..........................................................................................................................................4What are Synthetic Worlds?............................................................................................................5Examining the Synthetic World.......................................................................................................5MMORPG Technology....................................................................................................................7Chapter 1: Life in the Screen................................................................................................................9The Avatar Reality...........................................................................................................................9Serious Society.............................................................................................................................. 11Beyond the Magic Circle...............................................................................................................15Virtu(-re)al Economy.....................................................................................................................17Real Virtual Behaviour..................................................................................................................19Chapter 2: On War: Online and Offline.............................................................................................20What is War?................................................................................................................................. 20Synthetic World Combat............................................................................................................... 21Is this War?....................................................................................................................................22Guild Politics?................................................................................................................................24Reasons for War.............................................................................................................................24Psychological Causes of War........................................................................................................ 25Structural Causes of War...............................................................................................................28Systemic Causes of War................................................................................................................29No Wars in MMORPGs – Why?...................................................................................................30Chapter 3: Designing War..................................................................................................................34Leviathan Emerges........................................................................................................................ 36Leviathan Goes to War..................................................................................................................38Leviathan in Control......................................................................................................................39Blind Leviathan..............................................................................................................................41Consequences.................................................................................................................................41Design Conclusions.......................................................................................................................43Chapter 4: Studying War....................................................................................................................45Conclusion..........................................................................................................................................48Bibliography.......................................................................................................................................49Books, Articles, Websites..............................................................................................................49Further Reading.............................................................................................................................52Games............................................................................................................................................52Appendix A: Some MMORPG Terms...............................................................................................53Appendix B: The Galaxy of EVE Online...........................................................................................54
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War in Synthetic Worlds
MA War Studies, King's College London Jan van der Crabben
Acronyms
1
AI......................................................................................................................... Artificial IntelligenceEULA......................................................................................................End-User Licence AgreementLvl................................................................................................................................................. LevelMMOG........................................................................................ Massively Multiplayer Online GameMMORPG..............................................................Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing GameMUD..................................................................................................................... Multi-User DungeonNPC..................................................................................................................... Non-Player Character PC................................................................................................................................ Player Character PvE..............................................................................................................Player versus EnvironmentPvP.........................................................................................................................Player versus Player POW..............................................................................................................................Prisoner of War XP..............................................................................................................................Experience Points
1 For a more detailed explanation of MMORPG terminology, refer to Appendix A.
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