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Posts with tag Social-Science

Body language in World of Warcraft

Body language in World of Warcraft
I recently wrote an article which lightly tickled the social science surrounding nerd rage on WoW, and the internet as a whole, and as is ever the case, I read the comments thoroughly. It often happens that, with more analytical articles such as those, the comments spur a whole new article, and that is exactly what happened here.
DiegoAlvarenga :There is also the lack of body language that is like 97% of our comunication.
Diego makes an excellent point. A huge part of human communication that is lacking from online gaming is the body language, the facial expression, the smiling eyes that tell you something is a joke, all those things. Emoticons can go some distance towards remedying this, but it only extends so far. While not all internet rage is caused by mis-comprehension, some will be.

But I was inspired to address something else entirely, and it's a concept that's slightly tricky to explain, so bear with me. We're diving deeper into the social psychology here!

First we have to allow that our avatars, our characters, our toons, count as "bodies" in some respect. Now, of course, they aren't living, breathing entities, they don't feel pain, they don't have a heartbeat, they don't exist outside of the game-world. That much is obvious. But we inject life into them. We put a little of ourselves into them, even if we view them as puppets that travel through the world on our behalf, rather than a representation of us. You're not convinced? Let me try to persuade you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Convergence of the Real and the Virtual May 9-11

MMORPGs and other online communities have been fascinating scientists since their inception. The social world has vastly changed in recent years and many are studying their impacts on people, the economy, and the outside world. Several researchers will be presenting their findings at the "Convergence of the Real and the Virtual," proposed by John Bohannon, contributor to American Association for the Advancement of Science's online Science publication.

The conference will be held on Earthen Ring, US May 9-11, Horde side. The conference consists of three planned sessions. For any of you who have had the pleasure of attendance at traditional academic conferences, rest assured that the creators promise a more entertaining experience. The conference will include presenters from the National Science Foundation, The National Cancer Institute, The Minnesota Department of National Resources, and many universities and research institutes.

Attendees will be granted a virtual goodie bag and invited to in-game events such as a photo-opportunity with the Supreme Leader of Azeroth. For more information contact conference organizer William Sims Bainbridge or check out the conference's information page.

Filed under: Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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