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Comment Le Guin. All the way. (Score 1) 1021

i will say that my love affair with fantasy started in my freshman English class. We read Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, which i recommend. It's short and really interesting. Or if you're looking for a longer Le Guin, The Left-Hand of Darkness has been done a lot in classes. There's tons there that can apply to today.

Also, Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is awesome. i wrote a paper in college for a US Canon lit class where i justified the use of scifi in the canon and went from My Antonia to Martian Chronicles with nothing inbetween, since both books are somewhat about the cultivation of a new land/world, etc.

Comment Re:Both sides of the mouth.. (Score 1) 895

i'm coming to this party late i admit, but i'm an anthropology grad student and can make a few comments.

For one, no this guy was not an anthropologist of any flavor. The article states he's a "media professor." i have my own biases about media/comm studies people... but i digress on that.

An anthropologist would never go about doing research in this fashion; and i have to admit one of the reasons this article bothers me is due to my own discipline's outlines and ethics. We do participant observation and we have to tell our participants that we are studying them, and give those people the right to opt out of being in our study group and then we are ethically bound to respect that opt out. We're not allowed to experiment in this fashion; pulling strings to play "what happens?" We only observe, and participate as much as possible.

As to the content of the article, i haven't played CoH, but i study online communities so i can give a brief comment based on my own observations and readings.

My small opinion of what's going on here is this (note: i haven't read his paper yet, just the article). Yes, the developers have their rules. But as another commenter has pointed out, the community has made its own subset of community expectations which happens in any community; there are The Big Rules, and then the Community Rules that lay under those.

Also in virtual worlds there are many, many, many instances of communities using the worlds in ways that the developers never intended. Linden Lab did not intend for Second Life to become a huge social hub, they really meant for it to be a hub for creation and creativity (according to Thomas Malaby, in his book _Making Virtual Worlds: Linden Lab and Second Life_). As the community finds new ways to use the world and the tools the developers have given them, then the developer has to decide which of these new ways to encourage, which ones to let languish, if any! They have to decide whether to push their own agenda to the detriment of the community uses, or encourage the community uses and still bolster their own ideas, etc. etc.

There's an interesting dynamic (which my research will be looking at) between developer and community. Who holds more power, how much each stakeholder decides to give in to another, etc.

At any rate, he was playing within the developer rules, but the community he was in had its own set of rules subset to that. So was he really following the rules? Who makes the rules in these virtual world spaces? to me those are the more interesting questions, not what Prof. Myers "discovered." What he "discovered" was nothing new and really, online worlds are reflections of the offline world. People are this rude in the Big Blue Room, a bit more muted as the anonymity of the 'Net allows us to be more bold, but you still see this type of action out here in the "real" world.

Just my 2 cents in whatever currency (virtual or otherwise) you want to put it in.

Comment Re:Continued subscriptions? (Score 1) 45

i would assume that since ZDM, who we all paid our subscription fees to, no longer owns EGM that our old subscriptions will NOT be honored.

Here's the deal. ZDM, six months after shuttering the magazine, still has not decided what to do for those of us who still hold subscriptions. i'm willing to bet they're not going to do ANYTHING, and instead are just hoping we'll all forget we paid them money so they can keep it. Eff that.

Call EGM customer service: 800-779-1174. Ask for a refund, they'll give you one. Don't yell at them; ZDM farms out their customer service so you'll only be yelling at some nice lady in Florida who really is just as frustrated as you are at the whole situation.

DO NOT go through the email form on ZDM's site, because it's all braindead idiots who don't read for anything except keywords. Long story short: i gave up and requested a refund via the email form. i informed them i wasn't sure what card was on my account but was pretty sure it had been canceled and therefore needed to a) find out what card was on the account and b) possibly give them new information. i was informed that my subscription was canceled and money refunded. Since i have seen nothing show up anywhere, that refund went to a canceled card originally held by WaMu. Yeah i won't be seeing that money ever again.

So don't email. Call. You'll get someone with at least half a clue instead of none at all.

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