I really liked the juxtaposition of the readings this week, pulling from discussions of the social, science, and composition. I found Spellman’s Ecology for non-science people useful as a reminder about ecology. I’d learned about ecology in biology courses in undergrad, but it is has been awhile since I’ve been exposed to it.

I felt like the three worked to build on each other, with Spellman’s science discussion on population ecology and the levels of organization for ecology, as a basis to work from. The levels of organization seemed specifically useful to considering the different levels of ecology that a OoS could be viewed from.

Organs -> Organism -> Population -> Communities -> Ecosystem -> Biosphere

Levels of Organization

Spellman’s types of ecosystems made me think of the ecosystem that makes up the game World of Warcraft. I’m still working through how to consider the ecosystem. I’m not sure if I should consider it in terms of the ecosystem of the game that the player experiences in terms of the game world or in terms of the interface. I’m still trying to work that part out. I could work in terms of the ecosystems within the gamespace, particularly the different ecosystems in specific zones. That also typically is focused on lore, the races present in the zone, as well as their particular effects on the zone.

I was thinking for instance of looking at the Badlands. Most of the badlands is desert-like. It is inhabited primarily by Goblins and Orcs currently.

The Badlands – WoW Screenshot retrieved from MMO Champion.

I think considering the player as central “organism” in this case would be useful to use Spellman, as well as Guattari, particularly since Guattari seems very focused humans and their influence over technology and how that affects the ecosystem. Especially since Guattari places an emphasis on us reclaiming our role as “storytellers” of the ecosystem, I’m still working through how that could be useful in considering the game, as well as that Guattari could be a useful framework with ANT as well, since it also privileges narrative.

I could consider how the Dwarves, for instance, have spent time mining The Badlands and have in many ways affected the animals that exist in the area. There are also quest hubs present in the zone that basically act as the narrative for the player to navigate the area with. Also wondering if it might be useful to consider a zone that changed dramatically as a result of the Cataclysm caused by Deathwing a couple expansions ago. I’m not entirely sure this would even work out, really. The more I think about it, the more I question it.

Works Consulted

Guattari, Félix. The Three Ecologies. London: Continuum, 2008. Print.

Spellman, Frank R. Ecology for Nonecologists. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, 2008. Print.

Syverson, Margaret. The Wealth of Reality: An Ecology of Composition. Southern Illinois University Press, 1987. Print.