90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Deep in the 'World of Warcraft'

A sociologist digs deep into the super-popular online game “World of Warcraft” and looks into our human future.

In the age of the Internet, new worlds have flowered online — and giant communities engaged in virtual environments and role-playing games.

The biggest of the massive multi-player online role-playing games is “World of Warcraft.” More than eleven million enthusiasts pay a monthly fee to immerse themselves in a vast digital world of elves and orcs and trolls and warfare.

One of them is sociologist William Sims Bainbridge. Now he’s come out to say he may have found the future of human civilization in an online game.

This hour, On Point: the sociologist and “World of Warcraft.”

Guests:

William Sims Bainbridge, sociologist and director of Human-Centered Computing at the National Science Foundation (NSF). His new book is “The Warcraft Civilization: Social Science in a Virtual World.” He has logged more than 2,300 hours playing 22 characters in “World of Warcraft” — all in the name of research.

Elizabeth Harper, editor-in-chief of WoW.com, which provides news, analysis, and opinion on the “World of Warcraft,” and a producer for Massively.com.  Her top-level character in “World of Warcraft” is a blood elf paladin.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

 
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments