Multi-User Games and Their Culture
Who owns the Internet? Nobody owns the internet just like nobody owns the economy. It is a phenomenon that exists and it can best be described as a tool used by a competitive world. Online games now culture teenagers into the world of “cyber-culture”. I like to refer to “cyber-culture” as the information configuration run by programmers. Playing multi-media games, young learners can configure bits of information they have gathered for a short term reward. Instead of being overwhelming through a vast domain of information, online games draw the attention of those who might not have searched the Web (for gaming information), networked (with friends and strangers for the best way to succeed) or read instructions, scenarios and instant text messaging. Where books might have been read, or television watched instead, games like “Runescape, a massive multiplayer adventure, with monsters to kill, quests to complete, and treasure to win (www.runescape.com)”, become top priority.
Thus, the legitimacy of the Web is directly linked to culture “outside” of the web, i.e. bulletin boards, online news sites where hard-copies of print exist and fantasy or entertainment media and literature.
In the beginning of the Internet, it was like a phone call, only in words or something. Big amounts of electronic signals were being sent through wires. “Duplicating a manuscript requires that one expend an amount of time and energy similar to that expended in the creation of the text one wishes to copy (Tribble and Trubek pg. 221).” Despite the attention the multi-player games attract, they are rearing a culture of “cut and paste”, “of delete and start over” and “copy and send”. On the screen, the young boys using sheet after sheet of notebook paper was supposed to be a joke with the viewer jokingly commenting “think before you act”. Perhaps a young viewer of the comedy nowadays might respond by commenting “you idiot, where is your word processor?” In the younger, less mature generation of “cyber-culture”, the same method is applied in games. You quit and start over if it is not going right.
When you log on to the internet you are connected by phone line, cable or cellular waves to a server and all the other people in the culture. If you participate on the World Wide Web, whether you know it or not, you are part of a “cyber-culture.” Granted the culture’s existence is still very new and much of it is being formed right now, but it is real. Some things that make this culture unique are there are no official governing bodies. In games like Runescape, “Whatever the time you log in there will be thousands of online players in our community to interact with”, the democracy of the internet is portrayed by the nature of the game. Like in e-commerce, the strongest competitor wins. “Combine that with over a 1000 different objects to find/trade and a large landscape to explore, you will always have something...