Watch Out! There Might be Hobbit Burgler Immediacy Behind You


By: Dan Nockels

I like playing video games, there are many things that I enjoy about them but one that I have recently come to acknowledge more is the ease of control.  Depending on the genre of game being played that sensation can vary but personally my favorite example is Super Smash Bros. (a fighting game made by Nintendo). For a person initiated with the controls making the motions in your mind pass into the reality of the game is seamless and easy. I like it more than other fighting games because it doesn’t have button combos (such as up up b b down up to fire your laser). This game is about as high immediacy as one can expect from a simple consol game.

In the Lord of the Rings Online game there is a lot more potential for immediacy, such as personal attachment to a character, you have been the same character all along and have built him/her up during the course of the game. Having a consistent class and race and merely powering those characters up is a good way to maintain an attachment to ones character. This being said in the actual playing of the game it is difficult to feel the same sense of immediacy that one does in SSB. I would say not just because of an inferior control system but also because of certain features of the game itself.

In my experience as a hobbit burglar, having the ability to stealth is reminder of the video games externality. For me this is because first in real life I can stealth but also because I am reminded of the information dichotomy in programming between private and public. Public features are those that people use when they use computers entering test into something clicking return and getting a result are both examples of public information. Private features are those that do the actual work but that the user cannot access. Now that is not to say that going into stealth is as simple as making my character private but when ever I stealth I am reminded that I am playing a game on a computer.

Quickly mentioning the other part of remediation, hypermediacy, I’m pretty sure that the number of things on the players screen don’t change varying between races and class only the specifics. 


Race me!

By: Amir Aschner

Every MMORPG I can think of has multiple races and classes involved in game play: WoW, EQ, Diablo, LOTRO, and the list goes on. Focusing on LOTRO we can see how these classes and races affect the media. LOTRO is a remediation of Tolkein’s novels “The Lord of the Rings.” This means that it observed and repurposed the information presented in the novels into a new format: the game. The classes and races that LOTRO incorporates play a huge role in supporting this remediation.

Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth is a very diverse place. I am sure he went to great lengths to ensure that this was so. He created a plethora of different races. Each has its own roll in the world, living habits, dietary habits, appearance, interests, skills, flaws, etc. You could not have the world of the Lord of the Rings without Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Men, or Orcs. To leave out even one race would be an insult to Tolkein and a flaw in the game.

The books did not define characters as ‘classes,’ however if we take a close look and analyze enough characters we see similar patterns and characteristics that can be used to categorize them. For example, Legolas, and many other elves, were excellent woodsman and bow-users. In the game a hunter epitomizes this roll. Aragorn, Boromir, and Gimli are excellent fighters and are skilled with their respective weapons. Is that not also what a Champion or a Guardian is in the game? How about kicking it old school and looking at Bilbo in “The Hobbit?” He is recruited to join the dwarves as a ‘thief.’ That sounds very familiar to class in the game. If we continue to look at characters this way in all of the books we see that the class specifications are not that far-fetched and go hand in hand with the narrative of the stories. In fact, not including the classes would detract from the remediation of the game.

The game does such a good job at recreating the novel because each race and character is presented in a way that they interact similarly to the novels. For example, the races are already set in to factions good vs. evil, just like the novels, and the classes all interact according to the logic Tolkein created in his narrative (you would not battle many monsters alone or fight magic users without one of your own). Not only are the races and classes presented in LOTRO effective at enriching the narrative, they are key to its success. Without each and every one of them the remediated media would be a failure in the eyes of a real fan.