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psychology.hse@gmail.com

Sergey Belozerov 1
  • 1 Independent researcher, Arzamas, 607220, Russian Federation

Virtual Worlds of MMORPG: Part I. Definition, Description, Classification (in Russian)

2015. Vol. 12. No. 1. P. 54–70 [issue contents]
Social-psychological, terminological, demographical and other aspects of new socially active form of adult and senior hobby – avatar-mediated joint activity in virtual worlds, meant for entertainment, are viewed in the article. The origin of virtual worlds MMORPG from the board role-games is described, inherited and acquired characteristics, as well as most popular types of entertainment and occupations are analyzed. The author understands virtual world as a wide three-dimensional territory constantly generated by a server part of mass multiuser web-application (or territories, complementing each other and connected by teleports system), filled with multiuser quasimaterial inhabited virtual environment, which gives wide possibilities of productive labor and avatar-mediated life-sustaining activity. Life-sustaining activity is understood here as activity, oriented to satisfaction of basic psychological needs. Productive nature of labor in virtual worlds is confirmed by the secondary markets, which sell manufactured in these worlds virtual subjects and render services in these worlds for regular money. A serious terminological problem in the scientific discussion of the virtual sphere is the discovered by the author drastic distinction of the word “virtual” in Russian and in English. In the sphere of informational technologies the word should be interpreted as “almost like that, but not the same”, “not corresponding to strict definition”, “appearing like that in substance or in effect, but created by software or computer network”. Upon the usage, in contravention of name and classification the web-applications MMORPG are not games, role-games or child-games. The polls show that the mean age of the European and American users of MMORPG is 30 years and minors are no more than quarter of them. Only small part of users does role-playing, usually using special “role” servers for that. Overwhelming majority of popular types of entertainment in MMORPG does not account for four and more attributes of game activity out of six possible in formulation of Roger Caillois.

Citation: Belozerov, S. A. (2015). Virtual Worlds of MMORPG: Part I. Definition, Description, Classification. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 12(1), 29-53. (in Russian)
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