Tribes IICyberathletes and the Community of Avatars by Beth Agnew ©2004
What is Cyberanthropology? • Cyberanthropology is the study of humans in virtual communities and networked environments. • It redefines the idea of “human beings” to include androids and artificial intelligence. • It deals with the computer as a reflection of self. • It encompasses communities which are “virtual” and boundless. From: Steve Mizrach http://www.fiu.edu/~mizrachs/CyberAnthropology.html
Cyberathletes • “Geeks” who, like professional golfers, travel from competition to competition, playing computer games to win prizes and money. • Gaming is a $9 billion-a-year industry. • Major companies sponsor teams, prizes and competitions. • A top seed cyberathlete can make six figures playing shoot-em-up titles such as Quake in head-to-head competitive tournaments.
Cyberathletes - 2 • Prizes can be as much as $100,000. • The Cyberathlete Professional League is the professional association for this kind of sport. http://www.thecpl.com • Competitions can draw more than 3000 competitors from 30 countries. • Korea has the largest group of players.
LAN Parties • Amateur game players and enthusiasts hone their skills at LAN parties. An empty warehouse, miles of networking cable, players sleeping under the tables their machines sit on.
LAN Parties – 2 • Fragapalooza, Fragfest Germany, • LANsanity, SwampLAN, KiloLAN, etc. • Prizes and sponsorships by Intel, Dell, Blizzard, etc. • 3-day weekends; ongoing tournaments; statistics carried forward.
Case Modifications • Send in photos of custom computer cases.
MMORPGs – Community of Avatars Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games
MMORPGs • Avatars – characters createdin the game to representthe player. • http://www.puzzlepirates.com • A community of “pirates” who solve puzzles, representing navigation, carpentry, bilging, sailing and swordfighting to move their ships from place to place.
Puzzle Pirates • Puzzle Pirates sail under individual Flags, and are allied to a specific crew. • If they successfully blockade an island, they can take over the island and colonize it, building shops to supply swords and cannon shot, clothing, ships, and other commodities necessary for continued trading, sailing, and pillaging. • The currency in the pirate world is, of course, pieces of eight (poe) and doubloons.
Pirate Wedding • Culture taken to the nth degree. • Relationships are only within the world of the game. • Characters bear little resemblance to player. • Opportunity to live out fantasies within the game.
Pirate Wedding “We represent the Western Waves, the chaos of the ocean. It is we who will send the brigands and the storms after ye to challenge your mettle." "We ask, are ye prepared to face the unknown with each other, and meet headlong all that we might throw at ye?"
Coming in June 2005 Tribes III L33T Speak & Extreme Irony