I.  Intro to OoS: World of Warcraft, specifically focused on the user interface.

A. Description of the interface. (images included).

B. Explanation of why the interface decision.

C. Literature Review:

  1. Williams, Dmitri, et al. “From tree house to barracks the social life of guilds in world of warcraft.” Games and culture 1.4 (2006): 338-361.
  2. Shen, Cuihua, Peter Monge, and Dmitri Williams. “Virtual brokerage and closure: Network structure and social capital in a massively multiplayer online game.” Communication Research (2012).
  3. Shen, Cuihua. “Network patterns and social architecture in Massively Multiplayer Online Games: Mapping the social world of EverQuest II.” New Media & Society (2013).

II. Theories: Hypertext & ANT

A. Describe theorists and theories. Discuss how theory defines OoS

B. Focus on what will be included from these two theories for the case study. I’ll be doing an ANT reading of two different interface images. One will be from the default interface, another will be a modified interface. I’ll be talking from my perspective as my interface, both the typical interface and then the modifications I use when raiding and why. The hypertext theory will help me discuss the action bar and the multiple reading that has to take simultaneously as part of play.

C. Mention what will be left out. What the theories do not allow me to discuss.

III. OoS + Theory

A. In-depth look through images with mark up about how I am reading the interface using ANT. This will include mapping the use of hypertext for a series of actions in the game.

B. A will also include discussion of what is a node (specific interface features, for example), the types of agency articulated for various types of nodes, how these nodes are situated in the interface network, as well as the relationships between nodes. Will look at what is moving through the network and what happens to the content/meaning as it travels through the network.

C. Discuss how the network emerges through play and grows or shrinks depending on the choices of the player and how they choose to modify the interface.

IV. Conclusion

A. Discussion of the benefits and problems with using the theories together, because I think it’d be hard to apply these two separately.