Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reading about gaming & World of Warcraft

I've been doing some interesting reading lately. I'm listening to Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal (@avantgame), and I'm reading My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft, by Bonnie Nardi. Both are fascinating. I could insert a rant here about the differences between listening to a book and reading a book... but I'll desist (for now). I might mention that I listened to Dan Tapscott's book, Wikinomics, last year, and The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman.
I have been playing more in large part to McGonigal's book. Things IRL haven't been golden lately, and oddly enough, I stopped playing WoW. After listening to Reality is Broken, I realized that perhaps not playing was not the best strategy. Interesting. So I made an effort to begin playing more frequently, and I've found it really does make a difference to me. It's at this point that I find I really wish I had a hard copy of McGonigal's book at hand. I'll get back to this in another post.
Nardi's My Life as a Night Elf Priest is also fascinating. One of the more attractive features is that this book is not a collection of essays, but an ethnographic exploration of World of Warcraft. I'm only in chapter 3, so I won't talk about this book any further.
Last year I read Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft® Reader, edited by Corneliussen and Rettberg (@jilltxt). This is a book of essays by people who actually play WoW. I would like to be in their guild!
I promise all of this is building up to something; it's still incubating, but I guarantee some sort of paper will result. In the meantime, Atzilut is level 84, and that's something to enjoy. (Edited and reposted from The WoW Librarian.)

WoW Librarian