A NON-CRIMINAL PIRATE IN ARCHEAGE: CREATING AMBIVALENCE IN THE TRIBE BY PLAYING OUTSIDE OF THE DETERMINED SOCIAL PRACTICES
The research was conducted in the world of ArcheAge MMORPG to explain why and how some players mimic pirates’ behaviour in ArcheAge, and what their mimicking practices lead to. There was the investigation of the mechanics of social fields functioning in ArcheAge held, identification of the social practices of pirate faction in the social space of the game, identification of the typology of pirates, exploration of the ways of their interaction between each other, and the research of how the interaction between two categories of pirates’ social practices affects the essence of piracy in ArcheAge.
Using such methods as digital ethnography, critical, comparison, content analysis, and a questionnaire it was concluded that players of the pirate faction can be divided into two categories: ‘criminal’ and ‘non-criminal’. Playing in a tribal form of online community both types of pirates tend to mimicry. The process of mimicry leads to the hybridity of the pirate faction, and the emergence of an ambivalent faction image because of the combination in one image of two opposite characteristics of social practices in the space of ArcheAge. The research states the interdisciplinary nature of research in the field of game studies, and the importance of combinations of several points of view for studying video games to understand their natural multifaceted form.
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