Have read and commented on one book, I’ve tried to keep going in spite of discovering that parenting full time really is a full time job. I’m reading Synthetic Worlds by Castronova. So far quite interesting, and again I find reading work by another gamer really influences my reception in interesting ways. More on that eventually. 😛
I have also been trying to maintain my participation in ClanLord, for a number of reasons. I love playing, so that’s one. Of course it’s research, so that’s another. But perhaps what motivates me most is realizing that I’ve come to have an important role in the community as someone who sometimes formally organizes hunts, but also tends to provoke more spontaneous hunts as well. In a community as small as Clan Lords, this is important. My being online sometimes means one or two or even for more people are on to hunt, and once on they may get drown into subsequent hunts and start forming friendships with people they don’t normally join. During times when I’ve been unable to hunt much because of commitments “OOC” –out of character– I sometimes have noticed a drop in the population of more than just my own absence. I see this when other regular players are away as well.
Some players seem to act as nodes around which hunts arise. I hadn’t planned to become one of these, but I’m not entirely surprised. I am often the one that ends up organizing a coffee hour or some other regular set of meetings for people who share some interest or other. This has got me thinking about the role each player has in the community. Because the community is small, these are usually quite distinctive roles, as players become established, stronger, and better known by everyone else.
So I’m thinking about that as I read everything else, to see what others make of that aspect as they discuss MMO culture.