Questing for Standards: Role Playing Games in Second Life

Questing for Standards: Role Playing Games in Second Life

Mark G. Elwell (Hakusan International School, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-567-4.ch006
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This chapter reports on movements toward de facto standards for role playing games in the freely accessible and configurable shared virtual environment of Second Life. All users can not only freely join, but also construct and implement role playing games of their own design. Consequently, new games are constantly emerging, and others either persisting or failing. The resulting body of practice has implications for business, technological, and social dimensions of computer games. To elucidate these implications, this chapter presents the case of the Role Play Nexus, a venue created for role playing game designers, managers, and players to share experiences, questions, resources, and proposals for sustainable ventures and communities in Second Life. Issues, controversies, and problems are identified, and solutions and recommendations discussed. Source material is drawn from transcripts of public lectures, discussions and demonstrations, from interviews, and from participant observation.
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Context And Background

Concerning Methodology.­­­ Case studies, interviews, and participant observation are appropriate tools for discovering and presenting developing and emerging trends in rapidly changing business, technological, and social environments (Yin, 1984; DeWalt, 1998). In addition, case studies in particular have an important role in providing sound footing upon which to establish and refine theory (Glaser, 1967).

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