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Through A Year-long Ethnography
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"Something We Loved That Was Taken Away": Community and Neoliberalism in World of Warcraft
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
In this paper, we explore social life and play experiences on Nostalrius Begins, a World of Warcraft (WoW) private server. Private servers allow players to return to previous versions of a game before changes that modified it. Research indicates that changes to the current version of WoW discourage sociality and are upsetting for many players. Wow Servers All Over Through a year-long ethnography, we found that the stories, memories, struggles, and concerns that players shared on Nostalrius Begins allowed them to rebuild the social community that they missed from earlier versions of the game. Over time, however, the neoliberal ideology of offline culture influenced players’ behaviors and affected social experience in a different way. Wow Servers All Over Our research provides an analysis of the tension between community and neoliberal values in online games.