Massively multiple online role playing games as normative multiagent systems

Authors Johansson Magnus, Harko Verhagen

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Johansson Magnus
Harko Verhagen

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Johansson Magnus and Harko Verhagen. Massively multiple online role playing games as normative multiagent systems. In Normative Multi-Agent Systems. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 9121, pp. 1-16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2009)


The latest advancements in computer games offer a domain of human and artificial agent behaviour well suited for analysis and development based on normative multi agent systems research. One of the most influential gaming trends today, Massively Multi Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), poses new questions about the interaction between the players in the game. If we model the players and groups of players in these games as multiagent systems with the possibility to create norms and sanction norm violations we have to create a way to describe the different kind of norms that may appear in these situations. Certain situations in MMORPG are subject to discussions about how norms are created and propagated in a group, one such example involves the sleeper in the game Everquest, from Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). The Sleeper was at first designed to be unkillable, but after some events and some considerations from SOE the sleeper was finally killed. The most interesting aspect of the story about the sleeper is how we can interpret the norms being created in this example. We propose a framework to analyse the norms involved in the interaction between players and groups in MMORPG. We argue that our model adds complexity where we find earlier norm typologies lacking some descriptive power of this phenomenon, and we can even describe and understand the confusing event with the sleeper in Everquest.
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