(DPS) Demand Player Sovereignty

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Abstract:

  • Workshop Statement

    The DPS (Demand Player Sovereignty) workshop is a practicum in civil disobedience led by The Third Faction. The project acts to subvert the deliberate factional conflict within the Massively Multiplayer Online game “World of Warcraft” (WoW). The Third Faction Collective, will lead the participants in active engagement in the game environment. Attendees will learn about strategies for engagement from passive resistance to anarchical actions in game, positioning the player as a multi-dimensional agent of change.
    •    methods: The proposed workshop is a tutorial and recruitment session for the DPS (Demand Player Sovereignty): a current intervention into the World of Warcraft community and online game environment which encourages real-world social change through in-world political action, activism, and philanthropy. Participants in the session will learn about online gaming interventions, the history of significant acts/performances/projects, discuss strategies, extending virtual action into the geophysical/”real world”, and practical experience about playing as an activist in MMORPG’s.
    •    the problem:  The majority of contemporary game spaces/environments are guided either by a sophomoric narrative or absolute vacuum of storyline which results in a failure to engage the real social milieu that arises in and around the game. Despite the sterile environments of “official” state history, subcultures arise organically to conduct business, to act as pressure valves, and to promote/create acts of subversion. The resultant artifacts manifest as special vocabularies, player-defined caste systems, player lore, and black market economies.
    •    a call to action: MMORPG’s must recognize the larger social environments which have emerged around their games and create the platforms for these communities to build on and around. We call upon Players to resist the intentionally dysfunctional conflict within World of Warcraft, deny the Terms of Service, and devote our game-lives to empower avatars/players to resist the hegemony. We likewise demand recognition that our avatars are an actual extension of our self in a virtual space, thus retaining inalienable Human Rights inside World of Warcraft.