Thursday, September 18, 2008

$100,000 Grant to Study WOW (+ thoughts)

Shacknews has reported that a professor at the University of California is going to receive a grant to study WOW game modifications in the US and China. ("Mods" are extra installations usually made by 3rd party developers to improve aesthetics or data retrieval).

basically, +1 For Digital Anthropology.

It's about time we took a closer look at digital events and gaming phenomena. I'm trying to figure out how to ask the right questions myself... if anyone has some decent ideas, let me know.

So far, I think that the most important affect has to be the emotional/spiritual/lifestyle changes gamers endure in return for their expanded horizons of personal experience. While gamers see and do things normal people could never imagine, they end up spending less time in the real world. According to another study out today (thanks Shacknews) Everquest 2 players:

"...reported more cases of depression and substance abuse than their compatriots. 'They may be drawn to use the game to help deal with emotional distress,' says team member Scott Caplan of the University of Delaware."

So what the hell is going on? We need to watch this more closely. I've played several MMO's religiously as you all know, and there is something there... something undefinable is happening to the human mind. A broadening? An addiction? I'll tell you when I figure it out.

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