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William Sims Bainbridge. The Warcraft Civilization: Social Science in a Virtual World

Petrie, Bruce J. (2010) William Sims Bainbridge. The Warcraft Civilization: Social Science in a Virtual World. Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, 4 (1). pp. 270-272. ISSN 1913-0465

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Abstract

New branches of social science primarily engaging the “internet revolution” are appearing alongside mainstream research and journals such as Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking are providing social scientists with an outlet of peer-reviewed research. HPS scholars will find new methodologies and the relation of technology to social science of particularly interest. Social scientists are becoming increasingly interested in virtual realities (see Milburn (Spontaneous Generations 2008, 63)) and are declaring time spent “in-game” ethnographic research. William Sims Bainbridge boasts 2300+ hours (approximately 96 days) of ethnographic research into a virtual world he calls “The Warcraft Civilization.” Blizzard Entertainment reported in a December 2008 press release that World of Warcraft (WoW), its extraordinarily successful 2004 massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) comprised 11.5 million subscribers worldwide . In order to accommodate player demand, Blizzard uses hundreds of servers, artfully called realms, each running an instance of WoW for subscribers to play on. There are four types of realms: normal or player-versus-environment (PvE) realms, player-versus-player (PvP) realms, role-playing (RP) realms, and role-playing player-versus-player (RP-PvP) realms. The most popular realms are PvE and PvP; players on RP and RP-PvP realms are meant to “live” in WoW and therefore must adhere to role-playing policies such as remaining “in-character” of the avatar they have selected.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Petrie, Bruce J.
Keywords: Scientific Realism; Epistemic Issues; Epistemology of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Jordan Miller
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2021 03:09
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2021 03:09
Item ID: 17919
Journal or Publication Title: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science
Publisher: The University of Toronto
Official URL: https://spontaneousgenerations.library.utoronto.ca...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.4245/sponge.v4i1.13757
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 30 August 2010
Page Range: pp. 270-272
Volume: 4
Number: 1
ISSN: 1913-0465
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17919

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