Commodification of play in the mundane circle: A study of the political-economic use of housing in the MMORPG Wildstar
Grift, N.M.J. van der
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This thesis aims to research the political-economic aspects of a housing feature in a new MMORPG called Wildstar. By discussing social game design principles and the affordances, design and appropriation of Wildstar’s housing feature through game analyses, it becomes clear how certain design choices in Wildstar try to utilize the same psychological exploits as social games. By connecting these exploits to a theoretical concept called ‘the mundane circle’, a space for the unremarkable and routine, it becomes evident how Wildstar uses the players’ social needs to keep them bound to the game, and thereby retained as subscribers.