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Star Worlds: Freedom Versus Control in Online Gameworlds
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Star Worlds: Freedom Versus Control in Online Gameworlds (Hardback)

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Star Worlds explores the future-oriented universe of online virtualworlds connected with popular science fiction-specifically, with StarWars and Star Trek-that have been inhabited for over a decade bycomputer gamers. The Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, both of whichhave shaped the dominant science fiction mythologies of the last halfcentury,offer profound conceptions of the tension between freedomand control in human economic, political, and social interactions.Bainbridge investigates the human and technological dynamics of fouronline virtual worlds based on these two very different traditions: themassive multiplayer online games Star Wars Galaxies; Star Wars: The OldRepublic; Star Trek Online; and the Star Trek community in the non-game,user-created virtual environment, Second Life.

The four "star worlds" explored in this book illustrate the dilemmasconcerning the role of technology as liberator or oppressor in ourpost-industrial society, and represent computer simulations of futurepossibilities of human experience. Bainbridge considers the relationshipbetween a real person and the role that person plays, the relationshipof an individual to society, and the relationship of human beings tocomputing technology. In addition to collecting ethnographic andquantitative data about the social behavior of other players, he hasimmersed himself in each of these worlds, role-playing 14 avatars withdifferent skills and goals to gain new insights into the variety of playerexperience from a personal perspective.

Computing & ITDigital lifestyleFiction & PoetryScience FictionPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesCultural StudiesPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesMedia Studies Publisher: The University of Michigan Press Publication Date: 30/12/2012 ISBN-13: 9780472073283  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

William Sims Bainbridge is the author of books about the real spaceprogram (The Spaceflight Revolution, Goals in Space, and The Meaningand Value of Spaceflight), and fictional representations of it (Dimensionsof Science Fiction and The Virtual Future), as well as books aboutmassively multiplayer online games (The Warcraft Civilization: SocialScience in a Virtual World and eGods: Faith Versus Fantasy in ComputerGaming). He is an experienced computer programmer, anthropologicalfield researcher, and historical sociologist, with more than 200 articlesand book chapters to his credit.

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