Life in thetimes of Whypox—A virtual epidemic as a community event

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

3rdInternational Conference on Communities and Technology

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In the past ten years, multiplayer games have increased in popularity with now millions of players spending dozens of hours or more online each week. Researchers have documented many aspects of the activities and motivations of players highlighting how players in these communities are defined by a common set of endeavors and social practices. Gee (2003) called game communities for this reason ‘affinity’ groups. Often particular practices such as avatar selling and adena farming or events such as warrior revolts and virtual elections are used to illustrate issues with community norms (Steinkuehler, 2006), ownership and freedom of expression (Taylor, 2002; 2005) in virtual worlds. With few exceptions (Cassell, Huffaker, Tversky, & Ferriman, 2006), most of these practices and events have been emergent phenomena.

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