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    Egods: Faith Versus Fantasy in Computer Gaming (Paperback) By (author) William Sims Bainbridge

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    DescriptionWilliam Bainbridge takes an in-depth look at the fantasy religions that exist in 34 different massively multiplayer online roleplaying games. He categorizes the religions, noting similarities across the games. He points, for instance, to the prevalence of polytheism: a system which, Bainbridge argues, can function as an effective map of reality in which each deity personifies a concept. Religions are as much about conceptualizing the self as conceptualizing the sacred. Most games allow the players to have multiple avatars, an idea Bainbridge likens to contemporary scientific ideas about personality. He also focuses on sacred spaces; the prevalence of magic and its relationship to the computer program and programmer; the fostering of a tribal morality by both religion and rules programmed into the game; the rise of cults and belief systems within the game worlds (and how this relates to social science theories of cult formation in the real world); and, of course, how the gameworld religions depict death. As avatars are immortal, death is merely a minor setback in most games. At the same time, much of the action in some gameworlds centers on the issue of mortality and the problematic nature of resurrection. Bainbridge contends that gameworlds are giving us a new perspective on the human quest, one that combines the arts and simulates most aspects of real life. The quests in gameworlds also provide meaning for human action, in terms of narratives about achieving goals by overcoming obstacles. Perhaps meaning does not naturally exist in our universe, but must be created by us, both in our fantasies and in day-to-day life. Like the games analyzed in this book, he says, traditional religions are fantasies that should be respected as works of art in a future civilization of disbelief.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Egods

    Faith Versus Fantasy in Computer Gaming
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) William Sims Bainbridge
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 336
    Width: 155 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 22 mm
    Weight: 438 g
    ISBN 13: 9780199935833
    ISBN 10: 0199935831

    BIC E4L: COM
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S10.1
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: JFD
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    B&T General Subject: 370
    Libri: I-GA
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 24250
    Ingram Subject Code: GA
    B&T Modifier: Text Format: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 35
    BISAC V2.8: SOC039000
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: REL012110
    BIC subject category V2: HRAM3
    BISAC V2.8: GAM013000
    BIC subject category V2: UYV
    DC22: 794.81
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: GAM010000
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC V2.8: REL000000
    BIC subject category V2: UDBV
    LC subject heading: ,
    LC classification: GV1469.17.S63 B35 2013
    LC subject heading:
    DC23: 201.60068
    Illustrations note
    black & white tables
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    04 April 2013
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    William Sims Bainbridge is a prolific and influential sociologist of religion, science, and popular culture. He serves as co-director of Human-Centered Computing at the National Science Foundation. His books include Leadership in Science and Technology, The Warcraft Civilization, Online MultiplayerGames, Across the Secular Abyss, and The Virtual Future.
    Review quote
    eGods may serve as a helpful reference for those researching online gaming, religious symbols, or considering a literary analysis of gaming environments. Daniel B. Shank, Sociology of Religion
    Table of contents
    Chapter 1: Disbelief ; Chapter 2: The Culture Game ; Chapter 3: Deities ; Chapter 4: Souls ; Chapter 5: Priests ; Chapter 6: Shrines ; Chapter 7: Magic ; Chapter 8: Morality ; Chapter 9: Cults ; Chapter 10: Death ; Chapter 11: Quests ; Appendix: The Gameworlds