Understanding Virtual Communities in Online Games

Understanding Virtual Communities in Online Games

Kyonghwan Park (University of Kentucky, USA) and Josh Lepawsky (University of Kentucky, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-563-4.ch091
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Along with rapid innovations in IT technology for the last few decades, the world of online games has emerged as one of the most exemplary and fast-growing forms of the Internet economy. Broadly, the term online game covers a variety of Internet-based computer games in which network users log on to host computers through the Internet and play with other users on a real-time basis. However, strictly speaking, there are at least three different subcategories within the online game: “network game” such as Blizzard’s Starcraft, “Internet game” such as MSN’s MSN Games, and “online game” in a narrow sense such as EA’s Ultima Online. Such differences include the number of gaming participants and the range of interactions allowed by a given game system, graphical richness, and the relative openness of a game’s spatiotemporal environment.

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