This is me

I am a twenty year old young woman currently in her first year of University studying Games Design. I have many interests including reading, writing fiction and poetry and photography. I would classify myself as an Eclectic Wiccan and enjoy studying about that.

Some of my favourite books include:
-Divine By Mistake by P.C Cast
-Path Of A Christian Witch by Adelina St. Clair
-Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
-Alice In Wonderland-Lewis Carroll
-Girl on Line-Zoella

I also enjoy many types of music and some games that I love are:
-Animal Crossing
-Harvest Moon
-Fantasy Life
-Alice Madness Returns
-Minecraft
-Assassins Creed (Just got into these)
-Super Mario

This blog is going to be a space that allows me to post about interesting pieces of information as well as any notes or work that I do in my classes.

Anonymous Essay

Draft 1

This essay will analyse the video ‘How Hackers Changed the World: We are Legion.’ It was first aired on BBC 4 in spring 2013. The subject of the video is the hacker group known as Anonymous; their origins, history, goals, and culture. This essay will begin with a short description of what happens in the documentary, then will give an in-depth analysis of a small section of the video. After that, there will be an analysis the effectiveness and fairness of the documentary, before the essay concludes.

At the start of the documentary, there is a small section that highlights what the general public’s perception of hackers, and then touches briefly on Anonymous’ political agenda. The second section of the documentary discusses the history of hacking, the origin of hacktivism, and the origins of Anonymous themselves. The third section of the documentary, by far the largest section, discusses Anonymous’ activities as a hacker group, beginning with its early days pranking internet users, and detailing it’s metamorphosis into a political group.

One of the major activities of Anonymous has been the targeting of the Church of Scientology. Initially a Scientologist video was leaked from an internal source, and Anonymous began assisting in circulating the video around the internet. The video garnered a significant amount of ridicule, as did the Church of Scientology as a result. In response, the Church of Scientology issued a ???????? which is a legal order instructing websites to take down content that has been posted illegally or in breach of copyright.


Draft 2

This essay will analyse the video ‘How Hackers Changed the World: We are Legion.’ It was first aired on BBC 4 in spring 2013. The subject of the video is the hacker group known as Anonymous; their origins, history, goals, and culture. This essay will begin with a short description of what happens in the documentary, then will give an in-depth analysis of a small section of the video. After that, there will be an analysis the effectiveness and fairness of the documentary, before the essay concludes.

At the start of the documentary, there is a small section that highlights what the general public’s perception of hackers, and then touches briefly on Anonymous’ political agenda. The second section of the documentary discusses the history of hacking, the origin of hacktivism, and the origins of Anonymous themselves. The third section of the documentary, by far the largest section, discusses Anonymous’ activities as a hacker group, beginning with its early days pranking internet users, and detailing it’s metamorphosis into a political group.

One of the major activities of Anonymous has been the targeting of the Church of Scientology. Initially a Scientologist video was leaked from an internal source, and Anonymous began assisting in circulating the video around the internet. The video garnered a significant amount of ridicule, as did the Church of Scientology as a result. In response, the Church of Scientology issued a ???????? which is a legal order instructing websites to take down content that has been posted illegally or in breach of copyright.

 

The documentary was clearly targeted towards those with a great interest in learning about the hacker group. It contained allot of hard hitting information about the origins and evolution of the group, as well as several detailed accounts of significant acts of hacktivism. It was aired on BBC 4 which is a channel designed to air documentaries to hit a specific demographic of people that enjoy learning more in depth about particular subjects. Its primary goal is to provide information and educate, not necessarily be significantly entertaining.

The presentation of the documentary was very dark and eerie. The lighting used in most of the video clips and interviews was extremely sinister, and gave the video a dark and uncomfortable atmosphere, in spite of the fact that a significant proportion of what Anonymous had done within the documentary was not particularly sinister. The creator’s aesthetic made the group seem more malevolent than the events that were discussed indicated. In contrast to the aesthetic, the information given in the documentary was largely positive about Anonymous and its actions, with very little input from the victims of Anonymous’ attacks. Many of the experts on the video were either members of Anonymous, former members of Anonymous, or those that seemed to support the group and its actions. Overall the information presented in the documentary was biased towards Anonymous’ point of view, due to the fact that opposing points to Anonymous’ goals were very rarely represented, and many of those who were interviewed had a lean towards the hacker group.


Draft 3

This essay will analyse the video ‘How Hackers Changed the World: We are Legion.’ It was first aired on BBC 4 in spring 2013. The subject of the video is the hacker group known as Anonymous; their origins, history, goals, and culture. This essay will begin with a short description of what happens in the documentary, then will give an in-depth analysis of a small section of the video. After that, there will be an analysis the effectiveness and fairness of the documentary, before the essay concludes.

 

At the start of the documentary, there is a small section that highlights what the general public’s perception of hackers, and then touches briefly on Anonymous’ political agenda. The second section of the documentary discusses the history of hacking, the origin of hacktivism, and the origins of Anonymous themselves. The third section of the documentary, discusses Anonymous’ activities as a hacker group, beginning with its early days pranking internet users, and detailing it’s metamorphosis into a political group.

 

One of the major activities of Anonymous has been the targeting of the Church of Scientology. Initially a Scientologist video was leaked from an internal source, and Anonymous began assisting in circulating the video around the internet. The video garnered a significant amount of ridicule, as did the Church of Scientology as a result. In response, the Church of Scientology issued a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) which is a legal order instructing websites to take down content that has been posted illegally or in breach of copyright. Thus, members of Anonymous began to post the video on an increasing number of sites, and Scientology continued to issue DMCA’s. However, Anonymous took this pranking even further by flooding Scientology’s call hotline with prank calls to stop genuine calls being received and ordering a significant amount of Pizza’s to be delivered to Scientology’s buildings. They also performed Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDOS) on Scientology’s website to stop the public accessing it. Then, Anonymous created several videos. The first declared war with Scientology, and is the first time they refer to themselves as Anonymous. The second video, was an attempt to protect protesting members from reprisals by Scientology, detailed its code of conduct and asked its members to wear masks to conceal their identities.

Ethically, many of the things done by Anonymous against the church of Scientology are seen as correct by Anonymous’ members. Gabriella Coleman, a staff member of McGill University states that, “Scientology is an interesting target, because in some ways it’s the perfect inversion of what geeks and hackers value.” She also says that many members of Anonymous had “…A real pleasure attacking your perfect nemesis.” These quotes show that many of the people that took part in the attacks on Scientology were not doing so out of any political ideology, but rather out of a sense of malice or because they disagreed with the beliefs of Scientology. Even though Anonymous claims to be an organisation who supports freedom of thought and speech they attacked Scientology for its differing beliefs. The action of sending Pizza’s to Scientology buildings is also an issue because, although it does not physically harm others, it can be financially draining to the organisation. This may prevent them from using the money for the things that could help its members, or things like routine maintenance on buildings which could cause actual harm to people if they fell into disrepair.   Many of the actions Anonymous took were illegal. DDOSing is illegal in the US as it disrupts the normal function of the web page, and involves spreading a computer virus to other computers to bombard the webpage. However, many of the members of Anonymous believe that these actions, even if they are illegal, were justified as they see Scientology as an organisation that tries to legally bully those that disagree with them, as well as hire private investigators to spy on, harass, and stalk those they believe deserve it. Instead of attacking Scientology, Anonymous could have taken the videos down when asked and chose not to begin their campaign against Scientology, especially since they were well within their legal rights to request its removal due to copyright infringement.

 

The documentary was clearly targeted towards those with a great interest in learning about the hacker group. It contained allot of hard hitting information about the origins and evolution of the group, as well as several detailed accounts of significant acts of hacktivism. It was aired on BBC 4 which is a channel designed to air documentaries to hit a specific demographic of people that enjoy learning more in depth about particular subjects. Its primary goal is to provide information and educate, not necessarily be significantly entertaining. The presentation of the documentary was very dark and eerie. The lighting used in most of the video clips and interviews was extremely sinister, and gave the video a dark and uncomfortable atmosphere, in spite of the fact that a significant proportion of what Anonymous had done within the documentary was not particularly sinister. The creator’s aesthetic made the group seem more malevolent than the events that were discussed indicated. In contrast to the aesthetic, the information given in the documentary was largely positive about Anonymous and its actions, with very little input from the victims of Anonymous’ attacks. Many of the experts on the video were either members of Anonymous, former members of Anonymous, or those that seemed to support the group and its actions. Overall the information presented in the documentary was biased towards Anonymous’ point of view, since opposing points to Anonymous’ goals were very rarely represented, and many of those who were interviewed had a lean towards the hacker group.

 

To conclude, the documentary highlighted some of the more positive acts that Anonymous has performed, and even though aesthetically it made Anonymous appear more sinister than the information provided did, it still displayed the group in a positive light overall. The video was highly factual, and contained allot of information for the viewers, which fits in with the ethos of BBC4. The documentary appeared quite one sided, in favour of Anonymous as many of the people interviewed supported the group. However, it is possible to see that many members of the group perform legally and ethically questionable acts to achieve their goals and ideals.


Draft 4 (Final)

This essay will analyse the video ‘How Hackers Changed the World: We are Legion.’ It was first aired on BBC 4 in spring 2013. The subject of the video is the hacker group known as Anonymous; their origins, history, goals, and culture. This essay will start with a description of a section of the documentary, before this section is given an in-depth analysis. After that, there will be an analysis of the presentation and delivery of the documentary, before the essay concludes.

 

One of the major activities of Anonymous has been the targeting of the Church of Scientology. Initially a Scientologist video was leaked from an internal source, and Anonymous began assisting in circulating the video around the internet. The video garnered a significant amount of ridicule, as did the Church of Scientology as a result. In response, the Church of Scientology issued a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) which is a legal order instructing websites to take down content that has been posted illegally or in breach of copyright. Thus, members of Anonymous began to post the video on an increasing number of sites, and Scientology continued to issue DMCA’s. However, Anonymous took this pranking even further by flooding Scientology’s call hotline with prank calls to stop genuine calls being received and ordering a significant amount of Pizza’s to be delivered to Scientology’s buildings. They also performed Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDOS) on Scientology’s website to stop the public accessing it. Then, Anonymous created several videos. The first declared war with Scientology, and is the first time they refer to themselves as Anonymous. The second video, was an attempt to protect protesting members from reprisals by Scientology, detailed its code of conduct and asked its members to wear masks to conceal their identities.

Ethically, many of the things done by Anonymous against the church of Scientology are seen as correct by Anonymous’ members. Gabriella Coleman, a staff member of McGill University states that, “Scientology is an interesting target, because in some ways it’s the perfect inversion of what geeks and hackers value.” She also says that many members of Anonymous had “…A real pleasure attacking your perfect nemesis.” These quotes show that many of the people that took part in the attacks on Scientology were not doing so out of any political ideology, but rather out of a sense of malice or because they disagreed with the beliefs of Scientology. Even though Anonymous claims to be an organisation who supports freedom of thought and speech they attacked Scientology for its differing beliefs. The action of sending Pizza’s to Scientology buildings is also an issue because, although it does not physically harm others, it can be financially draining to the organisation. This may prevent them from using the money for the things that could help its members, or things like routine maintenance on buildings which could cause actual harm to people if they fell into disrepair.   Many of the actions Anonymous took were illegal. DDOSing is illegal in the US as it disrupts the normal function of the web page, and involves spreading a computer virus to other computers to bombard the webpage. However, many of the members of Anonymous believe that these actions, even if they are illegal, were justified as they see Scientology as an organisation that tries to legally bully those that disagree with them, as well as hire private investigators to spy on, harass, and stalk those they believe deserve it. Instead of attacking Scientology, Anonymous could have taken the videos down when asked and chose not to begin their campaign against Scientology, especially since they were well within their legal rights to request its removal due to copyright infringement.

 

The documentary was clearly targeted towards those with a great interest in learning about the hacker group. It contained allot of hard hitting information about the origins and evolution of the group, as well as several detailed accounts of significant acts of hacktivism. It was aired on BBC 4 which is a channel designed to air documentaries to hit a specific demographic of people that enjoy learning more in depth about particular subjects. Its primary goal is to provide information and educate, not necessarily be significantly entertaining. The presentation of the documentary was very dark and eerie. The lighting used in most of the video clips and interviews was extremely sinister, and gave the video a dark and uncomfortable atmosphere, in spite of the fact that a significant proportion of what Anonymous had done within the documentary was not particularly sinister. The creator’s aesthetic made the group seem more malevolent than the events that were discussed indicated. In contrast to the aesthetic, the information given in the documentary was largely positive about Anonymous and its actions, with very little input from the victims of Anonymous’ attacks. Many of the experts on the video were either members of Anonymous, former members of Anonymous, or those that seemed to support the group and its actions. Overall the information presented in the documentary was biased towards Anonymous’ point of view, since opposing points to Anonymous’ goals were very rarely represented, and many of those who were interviewed had a lean towards the hacker group.

 

To conclude, the documentary highlighted some of the more positive acts that Anonymous has performed, and even though aesthetically it made Anonymous appear more sinister than the information provided did, it still displayed the group in a positive light overall. The video was highly factual, and contained allot of information for the viewers, which fits in with the ethos of BBC4. The documentary appeared quite one sided, in favour of Anonymous as many of the people interviewed supported the group. However, it is possible to see that many members of the group perform legally and ethically questionable acts to achieve their goals and ideals.

Cyberculture Essay Semester 4

Draft 1

“‘Cyberculture’, a frequently used term, suggests something about the sort of culture we are dealing with: it is a culture in which machines play a particular important role’-Discuss with references to changes in communication technology and the social/ethical importance of new media technologies in contemporary society.”


Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.


Look into social media as a reference to :
twitter comparison
user interface with messenger, icons to display emotions, as it also allows you to demonstrate emotions more simply and clearly than using text.

user interface with messenger, icons to display emotions, as it also allows you to demonstrate emotions more simply and clearly than using text. Compare to user interface that has icons such as health bar.

Mass Effect Andromeda gives you the tone that the response will be.

IMVU app is a messenger app.

Moon pig, e cards


Draft 2

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

 

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook and Twitter. There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as the Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be one sided or


Draft 3

Paragraph 1-Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

Paragraph 2-Types of communication and history of technology

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook and Twitter. There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as the Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social meida platform, for example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date.

some of which that limit you to discussion topics,

World of Warcraft, IMVU, and club penguin, Farmville.


Draft 4

Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook and Twitter. There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as the Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social meida platform, for example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World Of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. However, MMORPGs such as World Of Warcraft are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people.

some of which that limit you to discussion topics,

World of Warcraft, IMVU, and club penguin, Farmville.

 

 

Look into social media as a reference to: twitter comparison user interface with messenger, icons to display emotions, as it also allows you to demonstrate emotions more simply and clearly than using text. Compare to user interface that has icons such as health bar.

Mass Effect Andromeda gives you the tone that the response will be.

IMVU app is a messenger app.

Moon pig, e cards.


Draft 5

Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as the Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. (Compare with club penguin)

some of which that limit you to discussion topics,

World of Warcraft, IMVU, and club penguin, Farmville.


Draft Six

Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions.


Draft 7

Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions. One very simple way to ascertain what kinds of interactions a player can have in a game is to look at it’s PEGI rating. Club Penguin Island (2017) has a PEGI 3 rating, and World of Warcraft (2004) has a PEGI 12 rating. This easily explains why Club Penguin Island (2017) has a much stricter policy on language and bad behaviour than World of Warcraft (2004) due to it trying to target a child friendly market. However, although games can be limiting from real life in certain aspects, they provide an opportunity to interact in ways that are generally not possible in real life scenarios. “At the same time, the special features of virtual worlds permit innovations that shape the range of possible individual behavior and collective action. We can break free from the constraints of reality. Death can be coded away. Gravity is programmable and can be turned on or off. This tectonic technological shift opens up the imagination to new possibilities for social organisation.” (The State Of Play Pg 10) This means that players can collaborate and be in competition with each other performing tasks that are not possible or acceptable in the real world providing more opportunities for social bonds to be created.

Paragraph 3 No matter how many safety features are put in place there is always some element of risk when using these online spaces. For example, many people old and young suffer from aspects of bullying, scamming and phishing. Bullying is a unfortunate common occurance in online games such as IMVU and chat websites such as Facebook. “Virtual worlds such as There, Second Life, Active Worlds, Kaneva, and IMVU, are also environments in which online aggression can occur. These simulated realms involve individuals who interact and communicate through the use of avatars, or representations of themselves and their personalities.”


Draft 8

Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions. One very simple way to ascertain what kinds of interactions a player can have in a game is to look at it’s PEGI rating. Club Penguin Island (2017) has a PEGI 3 rating, and World of Warcraft (2004) has a PEGI 12 rating. This easily explains why Club Penguin Island (2017) has a much stricter policy on language and bad behaviour than World of Warcraft (2004) due to it trying to target a child friendly market. However, although games can be limiting from real life in certain aspects, they provide an opportunity to interact in ways that are generally not possible in real life scenarios. “At the same time, the special features of virtual worlds permit innovations that shape the range of possible individual behavior and collective action. We can break free from the constraints of reality. Death can be coded away. Gravity is programmable and can be turned on or off. This tectonic technological shift opens up the imagination to new possibilities for social organisation.” (The State Of Play Pg 10) This means that players can collaborate and be in competition with each other performing tasks that are not possible or acceptable in the real world providing more opportunities for social bonds to be created.

Paragraph 3 No matter how many safety features are put in place there is always some element of risk when using these online spaces. For example, many people old and young suffer from aspects of bullying, scamming and phishing. Bullying is an unfortunate common occurrence in online games such as IMVU and chat websites such as Facebook. “Virtual worlds such as There, Second Life, Active Worlds, Kaneva, and IMVU, are also environments in which online aggression can occur. These simulated realms involve individuals who interact and communicate through the use of avatars, or representations of themselves and their personalities.” Due to the anonymity that these websites provide, some people find themselves feeling empowered, leading them to make poor decisions in abusing others based on the way a player may choose to style themselves. Similarly, young people online find that they are open to bullying in an online environment from those that they know in real life. According to the NSPCC a third of all children have been a victim of cyberbullying (NSPCC, 2017), and “Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online.” (NSPCC, 2017) These statistics demonstrate that significant areas of the internet are not suitable for children to access as they contain inappropriate content, which these children would not otherwise be able to access without the internet.


Draft 9

Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions. One very simple way to ascertain what kinds of interactions a player can have in a game is to look at it’s PEGI rating. Club Penguin Island (2017) has a PEGI 3 rating, and World of Warcraft (2004) has a PEGI 12 rating. This easily explains why Club Penguin Island (2017) has a much stricter policy on language and bad behaviour than World of Warcraft (2004) due to it trying to target a child friendly market. However, although games can be limiting from real life in certain aspects, they provide an opportunity to interact in ways that are generally not possible in real life scenarios. “At the same time, the special features of virtual worlds permit innovations that shape the range of possible individual behavior and collective action. We can break free from the constraints of reality. Death can be coded away. Gravity is programmable and can be turned on or off. This tectonic technological shift opens up the imagination to new possibilities for social organisation.” (The State Of Play Pg 10) This means that players can collaborate and be in competition with each other performing tasks that are not possible or acceptable in the real world providing more opportunities for social bonds to be created.

Paragraph 3 No matter how many safety features are put in place there is always some element of risk when using these online spaces. For example, many people old and young suffer from aspects of bullying, scamming and phishing. Bullying is an unfortunate common occurrence in online games such as IMVU and chat websites such as Facebook. “Virtual worlds such as There, Second Life, Active Worlds, Kaneva, and IMVU, are also environments in which online aggression can occur. These simulated realms involve individuals who interact and communicate through the use of avatars, or representations of themselves and their personalities.” Due to the anonymity that these websites provide, some people find themselves feeling empowered, leading them to make poor decisions in abusing others based on the way a player may choose to style themselves. Nobullying.com, the website of the worlds authority on bullying ad cyberbullying, states that “However, because it’s within the environment of a game, and players names are often obscured, the ability to be a bully is sometimes far easier to get away with online.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Similarly, young people online find that they are open to bullying in an online environment from those that they know in real life. According to the NSPCC a third of all children have been a victim of cyberbullying (NSPCC, 2017), and “Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online.” (NSPCC, 2017) These statistics demonstrate that significant areas of the internet are not suitable for children to access as they contain inappropriate content, which these children would not otherwise be able to access without the internet. As well as the risks of being bullied and seeing inappropriate content online and in multiplayer online games, there is also the risk of people lying to other online users about who they really are. This poses the issue of people being persuaded to meet up with someone on their own who they have not met in real life, and this potentially could become a threat to that user’s physical welfare. “The Web is no different from the world at large it is Cyber Space filled with the same people that occupy the physical world, but in Cyberspace it is easier to hide.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Many online games have the mechanics that allow users to create avatars to represent their identities. Many games include this function to allow players to pretend to be something they are not, for example World of Warcraft (2004) allows the player to choose from many different fantasy races for their character, even allowing them to choose a character of different gender and appearance then they are in real life.

Paragraph 4

This poses the ethical question of whether it is appropriate to allow people, especially children and young adults, to interact and socialize in these digital worlds. While there are many positives about interacting with other users in online games, but there are also many risks involved for vulnerable people or children when speaking to people online. Due to the fact that many games allow the creation of avatars, it can be difficult, especially for a child, to detect whether the person using the avatar is telling the truth about themselves or not. This anonymity that is granted to users of these virtual environments can lead to situations where the users physical, psychological, and digital welfare are impacted. Worse, much of the action that can be taken against those bullying or grooming other users online is entirely reliant on the victim or the game’s moderator’s taking action, and if the perpetrator is of some relation to the person running the game then this action will not necessarily be taken, “… every aspect of life within a virtual world exists at the pleasure (and whim) of the game’s creator who can eject or erase characters or pull the plug on the game altogether.” (State of play, pg15-16) Moderators on multiplayer games have no legal obligation to do anything about problems that arise, where as in the real-life employers and schools have a duty of care to those within their organisation. Online users also have the potential to use inappropriate language or access content that is not suitable for their age. Although many websites ask for a date of birth when you create an account there is nothing to stop a player lying about their age if they choose to do so, as they have no system of asking users to prove their age when signing up.


Draft 10

Introduction

This essay will discuss the relationship between society, culture and technology referencing the change and development of technology in a rapidly evolving society. This essay will also examine social and ethical issues in relation to technology. There will also be a discussion on the topic of advantages and disadvantages of technology, and an in-depth look into how we interact with people in real life or otherwise.

Game Introductions:

 

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions. One very simple way to ascertain what kinds of interactions a player can have in a game is to look at it’s PEGI rating. Club Penguin Island (2017) has a PEGI 3 rating, and World of Warcraft (2004) has a PEGI 12 rating. This easily explains why Club Penguin Island (2017) has a much stricter policy on language and bad behaviour than World of Warcraft (2004) due to it trying to target a child friendly market. However, although games can be limiting from real life in certain aspects, they provide an opportunity to interact in ways that are generally not possible in real life scenarios. “At the same time, the special features of virtual worlds permit innovations that shape the range of possible individual behavior and collective action. We can break free from the constraints of reality. Death can be coded away. Gravity is programmable and can be turned on or off. This tectonic technological shift opens up the imagination to new possibilities for social organisation.” (The State Of Play Pg 10) This means that players can collaborate and be in competition with each other performing tasks that are not possible or acceptable in the real world providing more opportunities for social bonds to be created.

Paragraph 3 No matter how many safety features are put in place there is always some element of risk when using these online spaces. For example, many people old and young suffer from aspects of bullying, scamming and phishing. Bullying is an unfortunate common occurrence in online games such as IMVU and chat websites such as Facebook. “Virtual worlds such as There, Second Life, Active Worlds, Kaneva, and IMVU, are also environments in which online aggression can occur. These simulated realms involve individuals who interact and communicate through the use of avatars, or representations of themselves and their personalities.” Due to the anonymity that these websites provide, some people find themselves feeling empowered, leading them to make poor decisions in abusing others based on the way a player may choose to style themselves. Nobullying.com, the website of the worlds authority on bullying ad cyberbullying, states that “However, because it’s within the environment of a game, and players names are often obscured, the ability to be a bully is sometimes far easier to get away with online.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Similarly, young people online find that they are open to bullying in an online environment from those that they know in real life. According to the NSPCC a third of all children have been a victim of cyberbullying (NSPCC, 2017), and “Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online.” (NSPCC, 2017) These statistics demonstrate that significant areas of the internet are not suitable for children to access as they contain inappropriate content, which these children would not otherwise be able to access without the internet. As well as the risks of being bullied and seeing inappropriate content online and in multiplayer online games, there is also the risk of people lying to other online users about who they really are. This poses the issue of people being persuaded to meet up with someone on their own who they have not met in real life, and this potentially could become a threat to that user’s physical welfare. “The Web is no different from the world at large it is Cyber Space filled with the same people that occupy the physical world, but in Cyberspace it is easier to hide.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Many online games have the mechanics that allow users to create avatars to represent their identities. Many games include this function to allow players to pretend to be something they are not, for example World of Warcraft (2004) allows the player to choose from many different fantasy races for their character, even allowing them to choose a character of different gender and appearance then they are in real life.

Paragraph 4

This poses the ethical question of whether it is appropriate to allow people, especially children and young adults, to interact and socialize in these digital worlds. While there are many positives about interacting with other users in online games, there are also many risks involved for vulnerable people or children when speaking to people online. Due to the fact that many games allow the creation of avatars, it can be difficult, especially for a child, to detect whether the person using the avatar is telling the truth about themselves or not. This anonymity that is granted to users of these virtual environments can lead to situations where the users physical, psychological, and digital welfare are impacted. Worse, much of the action that can be taken against those bullying or grooming other users online is entirely reliant on the victim or the game’s moderator’s taking action, and if the perpetrator is of some relation to the person running the game then this action will not necessarily be taken, “… every aspect of life within a virtual world exists at the pleasure (and whim) of the game’s creator who can eject or erase characters or pull the plug on the game altogether.” (State of play, pg15-16) Moderators on multiplayer games have no legal obligation to do anything about problems that arise, where as in the real-life employers and schools have a duty of care to those within their organisation. Online users also have the potential to view inappropriate language or access content that is not suitable for their age. Although many websites ask for a date of birth when you create an account there is nothing to stop a player lying about their age if they choose to do so, as they have no system of asking users to prove their age when signing up. As a solution to the problem of verbal bullying in online games, games companies could create a selection of dialogue options for every player to use and not allow them to type in customized speech. This then would completely stop players being able to use the chat function in many online games that give them the opportunity to bully others, making it a safer place for people to interact with one another. However, there are other kinds of bullying in games not just verbal. In order to stop players from using their avatars to harass and kill other player’s avatars games companies could remove all player versus player elements of their games. Although this would solve these problems, there is also the ethical argument of whether this actually prevents players from interacting with each other in a realistic manner, and whether that could prevent friendships from forming between players. It would be difficult to maintain a valid friendship in an online game if there were only a selection of pre-composed dialogue options available to the players. Conversely, there is a wealth of research that indicates that playing online multiplayer games is a good thing. Research done on the MMORPG World of Warcraft (2004) showed that there are guilds, collections of players united under the same banner due to similar interests or objectives, that are designed solely for the purpose of players meeting and socialising with other players within the game. Williams D. et al, (2006) say that “In many of these, particularly the smaller ones, the social interactions were extensions of real-world social bonds. There were several cases in the sample of real-world collections of friends or families playing together as a guild of their own or as a family unit within a moderately sized guild.” (Williams D. et al, 2006 pg.345) This shows that the stereotype of those who play online games being isolated from their social bonds with the rest of their families and other people in real world communities is not necessarily the case. These games provide a platform to allow users to extend and strengthen their real-world relationships in situations that are impossible in the real world. Ethically using games can help people create deep and meaningful relationships, such as those who may be disabled can play online video games with their friends with their disability not necessarily impacting on them as greatly as it would in real life. Other examples of scenarios could include family from across the globe playing right next to each other in online games, or people who live alone being provided company from those that they meet in online games. Therefore, taking away these platforms for interactivity could be detrimental to some user’s social lives as these platforms are the only way, or the best way, for them to connect with other people. It is also an important point to note that multiplayer online games with filters for bad language and no PVP element already exist. For example, Club Penguin Island (2017) has a very strict profanity filter that prohibits the use of bad language, and if their player loses one of the mini games the player does not lose any items or progression, they can simply re-try the game again. Therefore, players do have the option of the types of games they wish to play, including how protected the game they wish to play is.

In conclusion, there are many advantages and risks to playing online multiplayer games. They allow people to connect around the globe, and who otherwise would not have been able to connect. They can allow people to strengthen real life relationships, or forge entirely new ones. However, this connectivity with others exposes users to a range of negative behaviour, including bullying, harassment, and grooming. Children and young adults online are often the most at risk from other users displaying this behaviour, as many lack the knowledge or life experience on dealing with such behaviour. Such behaviour can also be found, however, in the real world. With appropriate teaching and observation from parents and server moderators, the vast majority of vulnerable online users can be educated on how to deal with these users should they encounter them. There are a number of online resources that adults and children can use to help them. Therefore, it would be unreasonable and unethical to stop using online games as they provide a platform for an increased amount of social interaction for those that use them. Multiplayer online games allow players to interact with others in a larger variety of ways than is ever possible in real life, with not much of a greater risk to their wellbeing than the real world, which can be further reduced by teaching people to recognise the symptoms of abusive behaviour online.


Draft 11

This essay will discuss the recent phenomena of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). These are a relatively recent way for people to interact with each other, using avatars in a digital environment. It will look at the relationship between society, culture, and technology. Firstly, this essay will introduce the games that will be used as the main examples throughout, before giving a brief history of communication technology. Next, there will be an analysis of the advantages and risks of communicating with other users in these MMOGs, and then present ethical arguments for whether or not society should allow people to use these games as a space for social interaction. Finally, there will be a conclusion to sum up the arguments made in the essay. The essay will use a variety of sources, including the websites NoBullying.com, and the NSPCC; as well as academic journal and research articles including: The State of Play (2004) by Beth Simone Noveck, and From Tree House to Barracks (2006) by Dmitri Williams et al.

 

Game Introductions:

 

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions. One very simple way to ascertain what kinds of interactions a player can have in a game is to look at it’s PEGI rating. Club Penguin Island (2017) has a PEGI 3 rating, and World of Warcraft (2004) has a PEGI 12 rating. This easily explains why Club Penguin Island (2017) has a much stricter policy on language and bad behaviour than World of Warcraft (2004) due to it trying to target a child friendly market. However, although games can be limiting from real life in certain aspects, they provide an opportunity to interact in ways that are generally not possible in real life scenarios. “At the same time, the special features of virtual worlds permit innovations that shape the range of possible individual behavior and collective action. We can break free from the constraints of reality. Death can be coded away. Gravity is programmable and can be turned on or off. This tectonic technological shift opens up the imagination to new possibilities for social organisation.” (The State Of Play Pg 10) This means that players can collaborate and be in competition with each other performing tasks that are not possible or acceptable in the real world providing more opportunities for social bonds to be created.

Paragraph 3 No matter how many safety features are put in place there is always some element of risk when using these online spaces. For example, many people old and young suffer from aspects of bullying, scamming and phishing. Bullying is an unfortunate common occurrence in online games such as IMVU and chat websites such as Facebook. “Virtual worlds such as There, Second Life, Active Worlds, Kaneva, and IMVU, are also environments in which online aggression can occur. These simulated realms involve individuals who interact and communicate through the use of avatars, or representations of themselves and their personalities.” Due to the anonymity that these websites provide, some people find themselves feeling empowered, leading them to make poor decisions in abusing others based on the way a player may choose to style themselves. Nobullying.com, the website of the worlds authority on bullying ad cyberbullying, states that “However, because it’s within the environment of a game, and players names are often obscured, the ability to be a bully is sometimes far easier to get away with online.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Similarly, young people online find that they are open to bullying in an online environment from those that they know in real life. According to the NSPCC a third of all children have been a victim of cyberbullying (NSPCC, 2017), and “Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online.” (NSPCC, 2017) These statistics demonstrate that significant areas of the internet are not suitable for children to access as they contain inappropriate content, which these children would not otherwise be able to access without the internet. As well as the risks of being bullied and seeing inappropriate content online and in multiplayer online games, there is also the risk of people lying to other online users about who they really are. This poses the issue of people being persuaded to meet up with someone on their own who they have not met in real life, and this potentially could become a threat to that user’s physical welfare. “The Web is no different from the world at large it is Cyber Space filled with the same people that occupy the physical world, but in Cyberspace it is easier to hide.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Many online games have the mechanics that allow users to create avatars to represent their identities. Many games include this function to allow players to pretend to be something they are not, for example World of Warcraft (2004) allows the player to choose from many different fantasy races for their character, even allowing them to choose a character of different gender and appearance then they are in real life.

Paragraph 4

This poses the ethical question of whether it is appropriate to allow people, especially children and young adults, to interact and socialize in these digital worlds. While there are many positives about interacting with other users in online games, there are also many risks involved for vulnerable people or children when speaking to people online. Due to the fact that many games allow the creation of avatars, it can be difficult, especially for a child, to detect whether the person using the avatar is telling the truth about themselves or not. This anonymity that is granted to users of these virtual environments can lead to situations where the users physical, psychological, and digital welfare are impacted. Worse, much of the action that can be taken against those bullying or grooming other users online is entirely reliant on the victim or the game’s moderator’s taking action, and if the perpetrator is of some relation to the person running the game then this action will not necessarily be taken, “… every aspect of life within a virtual world exists at the pleasure (and whim) of the game’s creator who can eject or erase characters or pull the plug on the game altogether.” (State of play, pg15-16) Moderators on multiplayer games have no legal obligation to do anything about problems that arise, where as in the real-life employers and schools have a duty of care to those within their organisation. Online users also have the potential to view inappropriate language or access content that is not suitable for their age. Although many websites ask for a date of birth when you create an account there is nothing to stop a player lying about their age if they choose to do so, as they have no system of asking users to prove their age when signing up. As a solution to the problem of verbal bullying in online games, games companies could create a selection of dialogue options for every player to use and not allow them to type in customized speech. This then would completely stop players being able to use the chat function in many online games that give them the opportunity to bully others, making it a safer place for people to interact with one another. However, there are other kinds of bullying in games not just verbal. In order to stop players from using their avatars to harass and kill other player’s avatars games companies could remove all player versus player elements of their games. Although this would solve these problems, there is also the ethical argument of whether this actually prevents players from interacting with each other in a realistic manner, and whether that could prevent friendships from forming between players. It would be difficult to maintain a valid friendship in an online game if there were only a selection of pre-composed dialogue options available to the players. Conversely, there is a wealth of research that indicates that playing online multiplayer games is a good thing. Research done on the MMORPG World of Warcraft (2004) showed that there are guilds, collections of players united under the same banner due to similar interests or objectives, that are designed solely for the purpose of players meeting and socialising with other players within the game. Williams D. et al, (2006) say that “In many of these, particularly the smaller ones, the social interactions were extensions of real-world social bonds. There were several cases in the sample of real-world collections of friends or families playing together as a guild of their own or as a family unit within a moderately sized guild.” (Williams D. et al, 2006 pg.345) This shows that the stereotype of those who play online games being isolated from their social bonds with the rest of their families and other people in real world communities is not necessarily the case. These games provide a platform to allow users to extend and strengthen their real-world relationships in situations that are impossible in the real world. Ethically using games can help people create deep and meaningful relationships, such as those who may be disabled can play online video games with their friends with their disability not necessarily impacting on them as greatly as it would in real life. Other examples of scenarios could include family from across the globe playing right next to each other in online games, or people who live alone being provided company from those that they meet in online games. Therefore, taking away these platforms for interactivity could be detrimental to some user’s social lives as these platforms are the only way, or the best way, for them to connect with other people. It is also an important point to note that multiplayer online games with filters for bad language and no PVP element already exist. For example, Club Penguin Island (2017) has a very strict profanity filter that prohibits the use of bad language, and if their player loses one of the mini games the player does not lose any items or progression, they can simply re-try the game again. Therefore, players do have the option of the types of games they wish to play, including how protected the game they wish to play is.

In conclusion, there are many advantages and risks to playing online multiplayer games. They allow people to connect around the globe, and who otherwise would not have been able to connect. They can allow people to strengthen real life relationships, or forge entirely new ones. However, this connectivity with others exposes users to a range of negative behaviour, including bullying, harassment, and grooming. Children and young adults online are often the most at risk from other users displaying this behaviour, as many lack the knowledge or life experience on dealing with such behaviour. Such behaviour can also be found, however, in the real world. With appropriate teaching and observation from parents and server moderators, the vast majority of vulnerable online users can be educated on how to deal with these users should they encounter them. There are a number of online resources that adults and children can use to help them. Therefore, it would be unreasonable and unethical to stop using online games as they provide a platform for an increased amount of social interaction for those that use them. Multiplayer online games allow players to interact with others in a larger variety of ways than is ever possible in real life, with not much of a greater risk to their wellbeing than the real world, which can be further reduced by teaching people to recognise the symptoms of abusive behaviour online.


Draft 12

Introduction

This essay will discuss the recent phenomena of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). These are a relatively recent way for people to interact with each other, using avatars in a digital environment. It will look at the relationship between society, culture, and technology. Firstly, this essay will introduce the games that will be used as the main examples throughout, before giving a brief history of communication technology. Next, there will be an analysis of the advantages and risks of communicating with other users in these MMOGs, and then present ethical arguments for whether or not society should allow people to use these games as a space for social interaction. Finally, there will be a conclusion to sum up the arguments made in the essay. The essay will use a variety of sources, including the websites NoBullying.com, and the NSPCC; as well as academic journal and research articles including: The State of Play (2004) by Beth Simone Noveck, and From Tree House to Barracks (2006) by Dmitri Williams et al.

 

Game Introductions:

Club Penguin Island (2017) is a game made for phone and tablet platforms, and it’s target audience is children although they did wish to keep the adult members it had even with the change. The player must use their finger to swipe the onscreen touch pad in the direction they whish to go. It also has an online forum which it’s users can use. It uses game mechanics such as quests, points, ownership and discovery to help draw it’s players back time and again. Mass Effect Andromeda (2017) is a

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions. One very simple way to ascertain what kinds of interactions a player can have in a game is to look at it’s PEGI rating. Club Penguin Island (2017) has a PEGI 3 rating, and World of Warcraft (2004) has a PEGI 12 rating. This easily explains why Club Penguin Island (2017) has a much stricter policy on language and bad behaviour than World of Warcraft (2004) due to it trying to target a child friendly market. However, although games can be limiting from real life in certain aspects, they provide an opportunity to interact in ways that are generally not possible in real life scenarios. “At the same time, the special features of virtual worlds permit innovations that shape the range of possible individual behavior and collective action. We can break free from the constraints of reality. Death can be coded away. Gravity is programmable and can be turned on or off. This tectonic technological shift opens up the imagination to new possibilities for social organisation.” (The State Of Play Pg 10) This means that players can collaborate and be in competition with each other performing tasks that are not possible or acceptable in the real world providing more opportunities for social bonds to be created.

Paragraph 3 No matter how many safety features are put in place there is always some element of risk when using these online spaces. For example, many people old and young suffer from aspects of bullying, scamming and phishing. Bullying is an unfortunate common occurrence in online games such as IMVU and chat websites such as Facebook. “Virtual worlds such as There, Second Life, Active Worlds, Kaneva, and IMVU, are also environments in which online aggression can occur. These simulated realms involve individuals who interact and communicate through the use of avatars, or representations of themselves and their personalities.” Due to the anonymity that these websites provide, some people find themselves feeling empowered, leading them to make poor decisions in abusing others based on the way a player may choose to style themselves. Nobullying.com, the website of the worlds authority on bullying ad cyberbullying, states that “However, because it’s within the environment of a game, and players names are often obscured, the ability to be a bully is sometimes far easier to get away with online.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Similarly, young people online find that they are open to bullying in an online environment from those that they know in real life. According to the NSPCC a third of all children have been a victim of cyberbullying (NSPCC, 2017), and “Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online.” (NSPCC, 2017) These statistics demonstrate that significant areas of the internet are not suitable for children to access as they contain inappropriate content, which these children would not otherwise be able to access without the internet. As well as the risks of being bullied and seeing inappropriate content online and in multiplayer online games, there is also the risk of people lying to other online users about who they really are. This poses the issue of people being persuaded to meet up with someone on their own who they have not met in real life, and this potentially could become a threat to that user’s physical welfare. “The Web is no different from the world at large it is Cyber Space filled with the same people that occupy the physical world, but in Cyberspace it is easier to hide.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Many online games have the mechanics that allow users to create avatars to represent their identities. Many games include this function to allow players to pretend to be something they are not, for example World of Warcraft (2004) allows the player to choose from many different fantasy races for their character, even allowing them to choose a character of different gender and appearance then they are in real life.

Paragraph 4

This poses the ethical question of whether it is appropriate to allow people, especially children and young adults, to interact and socialize in these digital worlds. While there are many positives about interacting with other users in online games, there are also many risks involved for vulnerable people or children when speaking to people online. Due to the fact that many games allow the creation of avatars, it can be difficult, especially for a child, to detect whether the person using the avatar is telling the truth about themselves or not. This anonymity that is granted to users of these virtual environments can lead to situations where the users physical, psychological, and digital welfare are impacted. Worse, much of the action that can be taken against those bullying or grooming other users online is entirely reliant on the victim or the game’s moderator’s taking action, and if the perpetrator is of some relation to the person running the game then this action will not necessarily be taken, “… every aspect of life within a virtual world exists at the pleasure (and whim) of the game’s creator who can eject or erase characters or pull the plug on the game altogether.” (State of play, pg15-16) Moderators on multiplayer games have no legal obligation to do anything about problems that arise, where as in the real-life employers and schools have a duty of care to those within their organisation. Online users also have the potential to view inappropriate language or access content that is not suitable for their age. Although many websites ask for a date of birth when you create an account there is nothing to stop a player lying about their age if they choose to do so, as they have no system of asking users to prove their age when signing up. As a solution to the problem of verbal bullying in online games, games companies could create a selection of dialogue options for every player to use and not allow them to type in customized speech. This then would completely stop players being able to use the chat function in many online games that give them the opportunity to bully others, making it a safer place for people to interact with one another. However, there are other kinds of bullying in games not just verbal. In order to stop players from using their avatars to harass and kill other player’s avatars games companies could remove all player versus player elements of their games. Although this would solve these problems, there is also the ethical argument of whether this actually prevents players from interacting with each other in a realistic manner, and whether that could prevent friendships from forming between players. It would be difficult to maintain a valid friendship in an online game if there were only a selection of pre-composed dialogue options available to the players. Conversely, there is a wealth of research that indicates that playing online multiplayer games is a good thing. Research done on the MMORPG World of Warcraft (2004) showed that there are guilds, collections of players united under the same banner due to similar interests or objectives, that are designed solely for the purpose of players meeting and socialising with other players within the game. Williams D. et al, (2006) say that “In many of these, particularly the smaller ones, the social interactions were extensions of real-world social bonds. There were several cases in the sample of real-world collections of friends or families playing together as a guild of their own or as a family unit within a moderately sized guild.” (Williams D. et al, 2006 pg.345) This shows that the stereotype of those who play online games being isolated from their social bonds with the rest of their families and other people in real world communities is not necessarily the case. These games provide a platform to allow users to extend and strengthen their real-world relationships in situations that are impossible in the real world. Ethically using games can help people create deep and meaningful relationships, such as those who may be disabled can play online video games with their friends with their disability not necessarily impacting on them as greatly as it would in real life. Other examples of scenarios could include family from across the globe playing right next to each other in online games, or people who live alone being provided company from those that they meet in online games. Therefore, taking away these platforms for interactivity could be detrimental to some user’s social lives as these platforms are the only way, or the best way, for them to connect with other people. It is also an important point to note that multiplayer online games with filters for bad language and no PVP element already exist. For example, Club Penguin Island (2017) has a very strict profanity filter that prohibits the use of bad language, and if their player loses one of the mini games the player does not lose any items or progression, they can simply re-try the game again. Therefore, players do have the option of the types of games they wish to play, including how protected the game they wish to play is.

In conclusion, there are many advantages and risks to playing online multiplayer games. They allow people to connect around the globe, and who otherwise would not have been able to connect. They can allow people to strengthen real life relationships, or forge entirely new ones. However, this connectivity with others exposes users to a range of negative behaviour, including bullying, harassment, and grooming. Children and young adults online are often the most at risk from other users displaying this behaviour, as many lack the knowledge or life experience on dealing with such behaviour. Such behaviour can also be found, however, in the real world. With appropriate teaching and observation from parents and server moderators, the vast majority of vulnerable online users can be educated on how to deal with these users should they encounter them. There are a number of online resources that adults and children can use to help them. Therefore, it would be unreasonable and unethical to stop using online games as they provide a platform for an increased amount of social interaction for those that use them. Multiplayer online games allow players to interact with others in a larger variety of ways than is ever possible in real life, with not much of a greater risk to their wellbeing than the real world, which can be further reduced by teaching people to recognise the symptoms of abusive behaviour online.


Draft 13

Introduction

This essay will discuss the recent phenomena of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). These are a relatively recent way for people to interact with each other, using avatars in a digital environment. It will look at the relationship between society, culture, and technology. Firstly, this essay will introduce the games that will be used as the main examples throughout, before giving a brief history of communication technology. Next, there will be an analysis of the advantages and risks of communicating with other users in these MMOGs, and then present ethical arguments for whether or not society should allow people to use these games as a space for social interaction. Finally, there will be a conclusion to sum up the arguments made in the essay. The essay will use a variety of sources, including the websites NoBullying.com, and the NSPCC; as well as academic journal and research articles including: The State of Play (2004) by Beth Simone Noveck, and From Tree House to Barracks (2006) by Dmitri Williams et al.

 

Game Introductions:

Club Penguin Island (2017) is a game made for phone and tablet platforms, and it’s target audience is children although they did wish to keep the adult members it had even with the change. The player must use their finger to swipe the onscreen touch pad in the direction they whish to go. It also has an online forum which it’s users can use. It uses game mechanics such as quests, points, ownership and discovery to help draw it’s players back time and again. Mass Effect Andromeda (2017) has a single player campaign, with an online multiplayer battle arena which allows four people to play at once to gain credits and experience. World of Warcraft (2004) is an online multiplayer game which allows players to interact with others across the globe. It allows players to pick from a variety from races to choose for their avatars, and play as an improved being.

Paragraph 1

In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messenger apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication such as letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. One to many communication is the use of television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be News, which also have apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may effect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.

 

Paragraph 2

There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions. One very simple way to ascertain what kinds of interactions a player can have in a game is to look at it’s PEGI rating. Club Penguin Island (2017) has a PEGI 3 rating, and World of Warcraft (2004) has a PEGI 12 rating. This easily explains why Club Penguin Island (2017) has a much stricter policy on language and bad behaviour than World of Warcraft (2004) due to it trying to target a child friendly market. However, although games can be limiting from real life in certain aspects, they provide an opportunity to interact in ways that are generally not possible in real life scenarios. “At the same time, the special features of virtual worlds permit innovations that shape the range of possible individual behavior and collective action. We can break free from the constraints of reality. Death can be coded away. Gravity is programmable and can be turned on or off. This tectonic technological shift opens up the imagination to new possibilities for social organisation.” (The State Of Play Pg 10) This means that players can collaborate and be in competition with each other performing tasks that are not possible or acceptable in the real world providing more opportunities for social bonds to be created.

Paragraph 3 No matter how many safety features are put in place there is always some element of risk when using these online spaces. For example, many people old and young suffer from aspects of bullying, scamming and phishing. Bullying is an unfortunate common occurrence in online games such as IMVU and chat websites such as Facebook. “Virtual worlds such as There, Second Life, Active Worlds, Kaneva, and IMVU, are also environments in which online aggression can occur. These simulated realms involve individuals who interact and communicate through the use of avatars, or representations of themselves and their personalities.” Due to the anonymity that these websites provide, some people find themselves feeling empowered, leading them to make poor decisions in abusing others based on the way a player may choose to style themselves. Nobullying.com, the website of the worlds authority on bullying ad cyberbullying, states that “However, because it’s within the environment of a game, and players names are often obscured, the ability to be a bully is sometimes far easier to get away with online.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Similarly, young people online find that they are open to bullying in an online environment from those that they know in real life. According to the NSPCC a third of all children have been a victim of cyberbullying (NSPCC, 2017), and “Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online.” (NSPCC, 2017) These statistics demonstrate that significant areas of the internet are not suitable for children to access as they contain inappropriate content, which these children would not otherwise be able to access without the internet. As well as the risks of being bullied and seeing inappropriate content online and in multiplayer online games, there is also the risk of people lying to other online users about who they really are. This poses the issue of people being persuaded to meet up with someone on their own who they have not met in real life, and this potentially could become a threat to that user’s physical welfare. “The Web is no different from the world at large it is Cyber Space filled with the same people that occupy the physical world, but in Cyberspace it is easier to hide.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Many online games have the mechanics that allow users to create avatars to represent their identities. Many games include this function to allow players to pretend to be something they are not, for example World of Warcraft (2004) allows the player to choose from many different fantasy races for their character, even allowing them to choose a character of different gender and appearance then they are in real life.

Paragraph 4

This poses the ethical question of whether it is appropriate to allow people, especially children and young adults, to interact and socialize in these digital worlds. While there are many positives about interacting with other users in online games, there are also many risks involved for vulnerable people or children when speaking to people online. Due to the fact that many games allow the creation of avatars, it can be difficult, especially for a child, to detect whether the person using the avatar is telling the truth about themselves or not. This anonymity that is granted to users of these virtual environments can lead to situations where the users physical, psychological, and digital welfare are impacted. Worse, much of the action that can be taken against those bullying or grooming other users online is entirely reliant on the victim or the game’s moderator’s taking action, and if the perpetrator is of some relation to the person running the game then this action will not necessarily be taken, “… every aspect of life within a virtual world exists at the pleasure (and whim) of the game’s creator who can eject or erase characters or pull the plug on the game altogether.” (State of play, pg15-16) Moderators on multiplayer games have no legal obligation to do anything about problems that arise, where as in the real-life employers and schools have a duty of care to those within their organisation. Online users also have the potential to view inappropriate language or access content that is not suitable for their age. Although many websites ask for a date of birth when you create an account there is nothing to stop a player lying about their age if they choose to do so, as they have no system of asking users to prove their age when signing up. As a solution to the problem of verbal bullying in online games, games companies could create a selection of dialogue options for every player to use and not allow them to type in customized speech. This then would completely stop players being able to use the chat function in many online games that give them the opportunity to bully others, making it a safer place for people to interact with one another. However, there are other kinds of bullying in games not just verbal. In order to stop players from using their avatars to harass and kill other player’s avatars games companies could remove all player versus player elements of their games. Although this would solve these problems, there is also the ethical argument of whether this actually prevents players from interacting with each other in a realistic manner, and whether that could prevent friendships from forming between players. It would be difficult to maintain a valid friendship in an online game if there were only a selection of pre-composed dialogue options available to the players. Conversely, there is a wealth of research that indicates that playing online multiplayer games is a good thing. Research done on the MMORPG World of Warcraft (2004) showed that there are guilds, collections of players united under the same banner due to similar interests or objectives, that are designed solely for the purpose of players meeting and socialising with other players within the game. Williams D. et al, (2006) say that “In many of these, particularly the smaller ones, the social interactions were extensions of real-world social bonds. There were several cases in the sample of real-world collections of friends or families playing together as a guild of their own or as a family unit within a moderately sized guild.” (Williams D. et al, 2006 pg.345) This shows that the stereotype of those who play online games being isolated from their social bonds with the rest of their families and other people in real world communities is not necessarily the case. These games provide a platform to allow users to extend and strengthen their real-world relationships in situations that are impossible in the real world. Ethically using games can help people create deep and meaningful relationships, such as those who may be disabled can play online video games with their friends with their disability not necessarily impacting on them as greatly as it would in real life. Other examples of scenarios could include family from across the globe playing right next to each other in online games, or people who live alone being provided company from those that they meet in online games. Therefore, taking away these platforms for interactivity could be detrimental to some user’s social lives as these platforms are the only way, or the best way, for them to connect with other people. It is also an important point to note that multiplayer online games with filters for bad language and no PVP element already exist. For example, Club Penguin Island (2017) has a very strict profanity filter that prohibits the use of bad language, and if their player loses one of the mini games the player does not lose any items or progression, they can simply re-try the game again. Therefore, players do have the option of the types of games they wish to play, including how protected the game they wish to play is.

In conclusion, there are many advantages and risks to playing online multiplayer games. They allow people to connect around the globe, and who otherwise would not have been able to connect. They can allow people to strengthen real life relationships, or forge entirely new ones. However, this connectivity with others exposes users to a range of negative behaviour, including bullying, harassment, and grooming. Children and young adults online are often the most at risk from other users displaying this behaviour, as many lack the knowledge or life experience on dealing with such behaviour. Such behaviour can also be found, however, in the real world. With appropriate teaching and observation from parents and server moderators, the vast majority of vulnerable online users can be educated on how to deal with these users should they encounter them. There are a number of online resources that adults and children can use to help them. Therefore, it would be unreasonable and unethical to stop using online games as they provide a platform for an increased amount of social interaction for those that use them. Multiplayer online games allow players to interact with others in a larger variety of ways than is ever possible in real life, with not much of a greater risk to their wellbeing than the real world, which can be further reduced by teaching people to recognise the symptoms of abusive behaviour online.


Draft 14

This essay will discuss the recent phenomena of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). These are a relatively recent way for people to interact with each other, using avatars in a digital environment. It will look at the relationship between society, culture, and technology. Firstly, this essay will introduce the games that will be used as the main examples throughout, before giving a brief history of communication technology. Next, there will be an analysis of the advantages and risks of communicating with other users in these MMOGs, and then present ethical arguments for whether or not society should allow people to use these games as a space for social interaction. Finally, there will be a conclusion to sum up the arguments made in the essay. The essay will use a variety of sources, including the websites NoBullying.com, and the NSPCC; as well as academic journals and research articles including: The State of Play (2004) by Beth Simone Noveck, and From Tree House to Barracks (2006) by Dmitri Williams et al.
Club Penguin Island (2017) is a game made for phone and tablet platforms, and its target audience is children, although they did wish to keep the adult members it had even with the change. It also has an online forum which it’s users can use to discuss topics related to the game. It uses game mechanics such as quests, points, ownership and discovery to help draw it’s players back time and again. Mass Effect Andromeda (2017) has a single player campaign, with an online multiplayer battle arena which allows four people to play co-operatively at once to fight waves of enemies to gain credits and experience. Players use these credits to purchase equipment packs to give them access to better weapons and gear to fight with, and players use the experience gained to improve their character’s skills. World of Warcraft (2004) is an online multiplayer game which allows players to create an avatar from one of a variety from races, and then play as this avatar inside the game’s fictional world, battling monsters, completing quests, and levelling up in order to progress through the game. The game also includes guilds which the players can join to meet similar or like-minded players, who they can socialize with and who can help them complete quests and other similar challenges.
In the past when people wanted to communicate with others they had to write and send letters, and following on from this communication was done via telephones and then mobiles. Now we have an array of platforms to utilise in connecting with each other such as texting and messaging apps such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006). There are also games which help connect people all over the world, from easy going games such as Club Penguin Island (2017) to a more older target audience such as Mass Effect Andromeda (2017). These games and messenger platforms can be explored on computers, however many people today prefer to use tablet games and sites for easy on the go access. There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method of communication, for example: letters are a form of one to one communication. Of course, the problem with this is that only two people can communicate at a time and the system of doing so is extremely slow. Telephones used to be another form of one to one communication, however now they have been enhanced and this allows the use of more than two people to communicate with each other in a phone call. An example of one to many communication is television, which enables companies to demonstrate their products in short time slots to the public, in hopes of a sale. Another example of this would be the News, which also has apps and online websites now, to alert people locally or globally of situations or problems that may affect them and their communities. The problems with this form of communication however are that the information portrayed may be biased, or inaccurate due to it being delivered by one source and there is no way for people to communicate back. Online games or messaging services can be used as a form of many to many communication, as group chats can be set up and people can play online with friends. While in theory this appears to be a useful invention, allowing people all over the world to connect with each other, there are possible negative effects such as trolling or cyber bullying, and discussions can become extremely confusing and overwhelming if you have a few hundred people communicating at the same time. However the positives of many to many communication is that everyone is able to add to the discussion and everyone is able to access what other people have said, that leads to the discussion being more level, as you get many people’s different opinions.
There are plenty of social network games available for people to play. These games allow the users to connect with each other via the interface of a video game, rather than through a social media site. This adds layers of content that would not be available on a social media platform. For example, these games often allow their players to earn currency and experience, and purchase digital property with the option to customize at a later date. It has been argued in the past that interacting with forms of new media is detrimental to communities in the real world. “Time spent with these media, chiefly television, may have been taking time away from the vital tasks and processes that engender vibrant communities, families, and neighborhoods. Crucial “third places” for civic interaction have been on the decline, and families have moved away from dense urban communities into relatively atomized, isolated suburbs where neighbors rarely see each other or mingle.” This raises the issue of whether new media destroys our relationships with other members of society. Classically, the forms of media available to the public for communication and entertainment were cause for social interaction, with people gathering to enjoy this new form of technology. In the modern world though, almost everyone has a smartphone capable of accessing almost any form of media and entertainment whenever the user desires, meaning that a family of four can sit in the same room whilst partaking in four different kinds of entertainment, hampering our ability to speak to each other. However, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (2004) are not similar to television because many of these games include mechanics that allow players to interact with each other. “MMOs are of course one of several online “places” in which social interaction might occur, but they unique in the fact that they collect and mix people pursuing goals in three-dimensional space. This makes them arguably more “place”-like than a standard text-based chat room. The questions and results presented here suggest that WoW is in fact a vibrant third place, populated with a range of social experiances ranging from ephemeral impersonal groups to sustained and deep relationships that extend offline.” This shows that these spaces, even though they do not exist in the real world, can be effective tools and environments to construct social relationships with other people. In the real world there are a set of social behaviours that people conform to in certain spaces which people tend to conform to even though they are not set rules. In games, these social norms are changed, either limited or expanded, depending on its mechanics. Some games and social media platforms encourage players to make friends with certain people such as World of Warcraft (2004), which subtly influences how the player’s interact in the world. “The key moderator of these outcomes appears to be the game’s mechanic, which encourages some kinds of interactions while discouraging others.” This calls into question of whether people really are free to interact as they please, which is also true of social media sites which suggest becoming friends with others based upon your friends list. Similarly, we can question whether people are as free online as they think they are, and can this be used against those who use these various platforms. This could raise the issue of whether or not we are constantly being shepherded into talking to certain people both in social platforms and real life situations. Some social network sites and games use profanity bans to stop players saying certain words or phrases that are deemed inappropriate. Club Penguin Island (2017) is a social gaming platform aimed at children, and as such has safe guards in place in order to protect its users from content that it doesn’t deem acceptable. The Club Penguin Island (2017) website states “From moderation and filtered chat to an environment free of third-party advertising, we strive to be the safest place on the internet.” This shows that the game does indeed contain systems built into it that limit the kind of interactions that players can have with each other, and steers them towards other kinds of interactions. One very simple way to ascertain what kinds of interactions a player can have in a game is to look at it’s PEGI rating. Club Penguin Island (2017) has a PEGI 3 rating, and World of Warcraft (2004) has a PEGI 12 rating. This easily explains why Club Penguin Island (2017) has a much stricter policy on language and bad behaviour than World of Warcraft (2004) due to it trying to target a child friendly market. However, although games can be limiting from real life in certain aspects, they provide an opportunity to interact in ways that are generally not possible in real life scenarios. “At the same time, the special features of virtual worlds permit innovations that shape the range of possible individual behavior and collective action. We can break free from the constraints of reality. Death can be coded away. Gravity is programmable and can be turned on or off. This tectonic technological shift opens up the imagination to new possibilities for social organisation.” (The State Of Play Pg 10) This means that players can collaborate and be in competition with each other performing tasks that are not possible or acceptable in the real world providing more opportunities for social bonds to be created.

No matter how many safety features are put in place there is always some element of risk when using these online spaces. For example, many people old and young suffer from aspects of bullying, scamming and phishing. Bullying is an unfortunate common occurrence in online games such as IMVU (2004) and chat websites such as Facebook (2004). “Virtual worlds such as There, Second Life, Active Worlds, Kaneva, and IMVU, are also environments in which online aggression can occur. These simulated realms involve individuals who interact and communicate through the use of avatars, or representations of themselves and their personalities.” Due to the anonymity that these websites provide, some people find themselves feeling empowered, leading them to make poor decisions in abusing others based on the way a player may choose to style themselves. Nobullying.com, the website of the worlds authority on bullying ad cyberbullying, states that “However, because it’s within the environment of a game, and players names are often obscured, the ability to be a bully is sometimes far easier to get away with online.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Similarly, young people online find that they are open to bullying in an online environment from those that they know in real life. According to the NSPCC a third of all children have been a victim of cyberbullying (NSPCC, 2017), and “Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online.” (NSPCC, 2017) These statistics demonstrate that significant areas of the internet are not suitable for children to access as they contain inappropriate content, which these children would likely not be able to access without the internet. As well as the risks of being bullied and seeing inappropriate content online and in multiplayer online games, there is also the risk of people lying to other online users about who they really are. This poses the issue of people being persuaded to meet up with someone on their own who they have not met in real life, and this potentially could become a threat to that user’s physical welfare. “The Web is no different from the world at large it is Cyber Space filled with the same people that occupy the physical world, but in Cyberspace it is easier to hide.” (NoBullying.com, 2017) Many online games have the mechanics that allow users to create avatars to represent their identities. Many games include this function to allow players to pretend to be something they are not, for example World of Warcraft (2004) allows the player to choose from many different fantasy races for their character, even allowing them to choose a character of different gender and appearance then they are in real life.

 

This poses the ethical question of whether it is appropriate to allow people, especially children and young adults, to interact and socialize in these digital worlds. While there are many positives about interacting with other users in online games, there are also many risks involved for vulnerable people or children when speaking to people online. Due to the fact that many games allow the creation of avatars, it can be difficult, especially for a child, to detect whether the person using the avatar is telling the truth about themselves or not. This anonymity that is granted to users of these virtual environments can lead to situations where the users physical, psychological, and digital welfare are impacted. Worse, much of the action that can be taken against those bullying or grooming other users online is entirely reliant on the victim or the game’s moderator’s taking action, and if the perpetrator is of some relation to the person running the game then this action will not necessarily be taken, “… every aspect of life within a virtual world exists at the pleasure (and whim) of the game’s creator who can eject or erase characters or pull the plug on the game altogether.” (State of play, pg15-16) Moderators on multiplayer games have no legal obligation to do anything about problems that arise, where as in the real-world employers and schools have a duty of care to those within their organisation. Online users also have the potential to view inappropriate language or access content that is not suitable for their age. Although many websites ask for a date of birth when you create an account there is nothing to stop a player lying about their age if they choose to do so, as they have no system of asking users to prove their age when signing up. As a solution to the problem of verbal bullying in online games, games companies could create a selection of dialogue options for every player to use and not allow them to type in customized speech. This then would completely stop players being able to use the chat function in many online games that give them the opportunity to bully others, making it a safer place for people to interact with one another. However, there are other kinds of bullying in games not just verbal. In order to stop players from using their avatars to harass and kill other player’s avatars games companies could remove all player versus player elements of their games. Although this would solve these problems, there is also the ethical argument of whether this actually prevents players from interacting with each other in a realistic manner, and whether that could prevent friendships from forming between players. It would be difficult to maintain a valid friendship in an online game if there were only a selection of pre-composed dialogue options available to the players. Conversely, there is a wealth of research that indicates that playing online multiplayer games is a good thing. Research done on the MMORPG World of Warcraft (2004) showed that there are guilds, collections of players united under the same banner due to similar interests or objectives, that are designed solely for the purpose of players meeting and socialising with other players within the game. Williams D. et al, (2006) say that “In many of these, particularly the smaller ones, the social interactions were extensions of real-world social bonds. There were several cases in the sample of real-world collections of friends or families playing together as a guild of their own or as a family unit within a moderately sized guild.” (Williams D. et al, 2006 pg.345) This shows that the stereotype of those who play online games being isolated from their social bonds with the rest of their families and other people in real world communities is not necessarily the case. These games provide a platform to allow users to extend and strengthen their real-world relationships in situations that are impossible in the real world. Ethically, it can be argued that using games can help people create deep and meaningful relationships. For example, those who may be disabled can play online video games with their friends with their disability not necessarily impacting on them as greatly as it would in real life. Other examples of scenarios could include family from across the globe playing right next to each other in online games, or people who live alone being provided company from those that they meet in online games. Therefore, taking away these platforms for interactivity could be detrimental to some user’s social lives as these platforms are the only way, or the best way, for them to connect with other people. It is also an important point to note that multiplayer online games with filters for bad language and no PVP element already exist. For example, Club Penguin Island (2017) has a very strict profanity filter that prohibits the use of bad language, and if their player loses one of the mini games the player does not lose any items or progression, they can simply re-try the game again. Therefore, players do have the option of the types of games they wish to play, including how protected the game they wish to play is.

In conclusion, there are many advantages and risks to playing online multiplayer games. They allow people to connect around the globe, and provide a platform for those who otherwise would not have been able to connect. They can allow people to strengthen real life relationships, or forge entirely new ones. However, this connectivity with others exposes users to a range of negative behaviour, including bullying, harassment, and grooming. Children and young adults online are often the most at risk from other users displaying this behaviour, as many lack the knowledge or life experience on dealing with such behaviour. Negative behaviour can also be found, however, in the real world. With appropriate teaching and observation from parents and server moderators, the vast majority of vulnerable online users can be educated on how to deal with these users should they encounter them. There are a number of online resources that adults and children can use to help them. Therefore, it would be unreasonable and unethical to stop people using online games as they provide a platform for an increased amount of social interaction for those that use them. Multiplayer online games allow players to interact with others in a larger variety of ways than is ever possible in real life, with not much of a greater risk to their wellbeing than the real world, which can be further reduced by teaching people to recognise the symptoms of abusive behaviour online.

Group Project Meeting

We had a group project meeting in which we created the following paragraphs together:

The aim of the project is to create a three-dimensional historical environment, centred around the Beverley Gate entrance to the city of Kingston Upon Hull, in April of the year 1642. The project is designed to showcase an interpretation of what the area immediately around the entrance would have looked like on the market day, several days before King Charles II attempted to enter the city, and was refused by Sir John Hotham. The environment is set around midday in order to demonstrate the hustle and bustle of the city on market day and to show some of the city’s preparations for its defence. We have a few various buildings in the level including market stalls, tavern, two blacksmiths, stables, brothel, bakery, butchers, tanners, guild hall, tailor, farm house and barn; as well as Beverley Gate itself and the city’s wall. We have used historical references where possible to re-create an accurate depiction of Beverley gate and the surrounding area. However creative license has been utilised due to the unfortunate lack of accurate physical evidence.

The environment will be created to be interactive, and will play as a game level. The environment will include a hidden object game where the player has to explore the environment in order to collect all of the objects, which reside on a list in the corner of the screen.

Ideally, we would like to present the project to the public using a combination of: pre-rendered video, virtual reality/360 degree video, and augmented reality. The pre-rendered video would be a fly through of the completed environment, as including the hardware to be able to utilise the environments interactive features would be impractical in a public space. The video will play on a computer monitor. We would also like to be able to render to video in 360 degree 3D, and use a QR code to allow people to download an app and watch it using a mobile VR headset like the Google Cardboard. We could also place the video on YouTube 360. We would like to use Augmented Reality to create an assembly game, where the user is required to physically interact with cards on a table top to recreate the environment as we have created it in the video. At minimum, we would like to be able to create the Pre-rendered video and the 360 VR video. Our intention is to engage, inform and inspire in the year of city of culture. We wish to demonstrate to the public, both local and tourists, the city’s heritage, allowing them to connect with a part of history that is usually not widely seen by or known by the general populace.

Statement Of Intent Research List

How does gamification effect people in their everyday lives and how intertwined is it with real life?

Books

-Taylor Ellwood’s and Emily Carlin’s Pop Culture Grimoire 2.0 (18th Oct 2015) paperback
-Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magic 2.0 (E-book)

Essays and Papers
-Marshall McLuhan, Video Games, And The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
-From Treehouse To Barracks

Journal’s
-The Popularity of Gamification in the Mobile and Social Era (http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=101029548&S=R&D=a9h&EbscoContent=dGJyMMvl7ESeqK44y9fwOLCmr0%2Bep69Srqe4SrWWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGqtUq0rbdLuePfgeyx44Dt6fIA)


Websites:

Maladaptive Daydreaming:
http://www.medicaldaily.com/maladaptive-daydreaming-what-it-247629

Pop Culture Paganism:
https://fluidmorality.wordpress.com/tag/pop-culture-paganism/page/5/

https://adventuresinvanaheim.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/and-again-with-the-pop-culture-paganism/

Pop Culture Paganism and The Empty God

 

 

Unwrapping

Unwrap 1

The first thing I did once I had opened my barn was add a unwrap UVW modifier, which allowed me to create a UV unwrap.

Unwrap 2

I then selected all the polygons in the workspace and clicked the ‘flatten mapping’ option in order to separate all the polygons.

Unwrap 3

Unwrap 4

The next thing I did was attach the front of the building to one of the sides of the building. I did this by using the line selection tool to select the side edge of the buildings front face. This allowed me to see where the selected edge was attached to the other edges in the UV unwrap workspace. I then rotated the front of the building and the side of the building that I wished to attach to it so that the selected edge and the edge highlighted in blue were next to each other.

Unwrap 5

I then moved the two elements together so that the selected edge was lined up as best as possible. I then selected both edges and used the stitch to average button which stitched the two pieces together.

Unwrap 6

I placed the objects on the outside of the working area so that I could stitch the pieces together however it does not recognise anything off the small working area.

I then used the break tool to unstitch the seam however I decided to undo what I did and go back in case the stitch average tool had distorted the shape of the polygons.

Unwrap 7

Unwrap 8jpg

So I sorted it out by re-arranging all the polygons and placing them underneath the last stitched pieces that I made.

Unwrap 9

I then unwrapped my roof, however there wasn’t anything that I had to change as everything was laid out fine in the workspace.

Unwrap 10

I attempted to unwrap the large door on the front of the barn however when I flattened the mapping the UVW modifier scaled the polygons to the wrong size.

Unwrap 11

This is when I re-sized the front of the door and attached the two sides onto it.

Unwrap 12

This is the finished unwrap for the large door.

Unwrap 13

This is the unwrap for the door, I had no problems with this, I simply put everything in it’s place, stitched the seams and shrunk it slightly to fit on the workspace.

unwrap 14

This is the door handle map, and I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t aligned properly, however I used the straighten selection tool to straighten the polygon.

Unwrap 15

Unwrap 16

I had to remember to first attach all the pieces of the house together before I could use a UVW unwrap.

CATS Notes-13 March

Cats Notes
Understand how to put an essay together
-Aim to answer the question which is asked of you

-Look at key words in the question

-Do tons of research

-Journals, books, websites

-Word count should not fit everything in.

-No waffling

-No huge sentences

-Plenty of time

-Use academic texts and academic quotes

-Use visual examples when you can

-Illustration on separate pages

-Need to develop an argument and not just describe stuff

-Write in third person. Do not include I. This essay will identify/this essay will demonstrate 

-Conclusion can use ‘i’ first person

-You can use first person quotes

-The argument is strongly weighted due to blah blah blah

-1.5 spacing, 1 sided, front cover

-Clear intro to set out what you’re going to write about. Its really needed. 

-Provide clear arguments and examine topics in detail. ‘Logical development of argument’

-Conclusion wraps up what you have written. You can put the limitations in the essay due to word constraints. 

CATS notes Mar

Cats Notes-Primarily journal actircles

-Some books

-A few well chosen websites

-Shortcuts Reference

-Library catalogue via portal

-Citation (copy and paste on library catalogue- uses harvard referencing)

Only change 1 thing, change colon to a comma.

-Main thing is journal articles, and access them via moodle. Same username and password as uni, click on library, e-resources, individual journals, 

http://gac.sagepun.com//

Dolcineara??? (Ebooks)

Games and ….

-Journals are up to date and closer to the research. It’s first hand info. 

-Read through abstract first and save. 

-You can always keep them, no expirary date.

-Don’t worry about magic journal articles, that covers the exact thing you want to journal about. Many times you will only find little bits from each journal, which allows you to piece together your research. 

-Split down your search into a couple of research points. 

-Ebsco (has an app)

tinyurl.com/hcukebsco

Millions of articles

Related topics-psychology, sociology etc…

Think about narrowing down specific key words for search results so you don’t get loads of results

-Use options on the left to narrow search by date, geography, etc…

-Pdfs, are ablevto be saved

-On right, middle and click on cite, scroll to harvard and copy and paste. (Missing brackets around the date so put them in.) 

-Do it as you go along. So you don’t have to do it afterwards. 

-Journals are good for putting across on argument. They will disagree or have different angles on a certain topic. 

-Looks better to include journal articles instead of just a blog. 

-bob television and radio program and gives you reference. 

-library referencing helpsheet