Religion and computer games: a theological exploration of religious themes in World of Warcraft

Kim, Hanna (2013). Religion and computer games: a theological exploration of religious themes in World of Warcraft. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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The virtual worlds provided by online games give players the opportunity to engage with the virtual reality manifested by symbols and images. These symbols and images have the particular characteristic of communicating meanings to people who interpret them. Virtual experience, in relation to these symbols and images, provides a different dimension of engaging with symbolic meanings. In particular, online games based on mythological and religious narratives display religious themes in terms of theological and philosophical ideas contained within virtual xperiences. This thesis focuses on the use of religious themes which may be found in the online game, World of Warcraft, utilising empirical observation by means of the observation, in particular, of a human priest character; this has enabled a focus on the use of religious symbols and images in relation to virtual priestly abilities and talents. It represents how the virtual world reflects religious symbols in a particular religious character’s life. Theological and philosophical themes relating to death and resurrection have been researched through an analysis based on virtual participant observation. This research shows how dualistic interpretations have been applied to important matters such as the nature of a character’s existence and of the virtual world.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion


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