Schon während meiner Schulzeit haben mich die Themen Online-Plattformen, Communities und Erlös-Generierung mit digitalem Content fasziniert. Ich bin der Überzeugung, dass sich die Medienbranche noch viel bei der Gaming-Branche abschauen kann – deshalb war es mir immer ein Anliegen, die Mechanismen zu verstehen, durch welche Online-Spiele so erfolgreich sind. Einen ersten Ansatz erarbeitete ich hierbei im Zuge meiner ersten Facharbeit zum Thema Online-Gaming-Sucht.
Aus der Einleitung:
The heat and the ashes in the air of the Searing Gorge have been almost unbearable. Sweating under his mighty armour and waiting for his fellowship, the raid leader stood there in the centre of the base, the last bastion of the Alliance in the extensions of Blackrock Mountain. Finally the day was there on which they storm Blackrock Spire and wipe out the corrupted brood of the black grand-dragon Lord Nefarian. Finally, after months of preparation that had demanded heavy sacrifices from them. Dozens were coming now, flying through the darkened sky on the back of strong griffins, also dressed in enigmatic armours, and were getting ready for battle. Hands were shaken, weapons were sharpened and last defensive spells were spoken. For victory, for honour and for an unimaginable treasure they were riding now to fulfil their destiny and to justify the time they have spent in a world that does not exist.
Was this an extract from a fantasy book or film? The answer is no, this has happened exactly how it was told. However, the battle of Blackrock Spire has not taken place in our world but in Azeroth, the virtual world of the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game World of Warcraft. Gamers from many different countries control the so called avatars that build up the described fellowship and though Azeroth does not exist, the sacrifices are reality.
In the following school research essay I want to look closer at MMORPGs, especially at how they manipulate millions of gamers to make such sacrifices and at what consequences this has on the gamers’ daily life.
To prove my theses, I will use official game-information and press reports from World of Warcraft’s publisher Blizzard Entertainment, books and newspaper articles dealing with virtual worlds and their dangers, a degree dissertation from the University of Mainz about MMORPGs in general and an online-study from the University of Berlin dealing with internet-addiction. Though many of my sources come from the internet, I was eager to check them on reliability and seriousness.