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Introduction

The study of World of Warcraft (WOW) is a vast undertaking. Often, academics and/or researchers select a specific area of this Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game (MMORPG) to study and analyze. The two camps of thoughts researchers lean towards is either studying the game or the player(s) and this includes/excludes the World of Warcraft phase space the players and Blizzard’s Entertainment expands upon outside of the MMORPG. It is becoming evident of the influencing magnitude World of Warcraft has on pop culture and modern society. The question that arises is can World of Warcraft be measured? This question poises serious reflection considering that as a game it is not static, but is constantly evolving through game-play, reaction to game-play upgrades and expansion packs. The World of Warcraft, as a masterpiece, is unfinished.

Peter Lunenfeld (1999) in his article, “Unfinished Business”, looks at the idea of “unfinished” in past and present society. Unfinished masterpieces of times past left admirers, followers and society as a whole in suspense. However, in the modern age, “unfinished” is embodied in the computer. As Lunenfeld (1999) writes, “Cybernetics is the alchemy of our age: the computer is the universal solvent into which all difference of media dissolves into a pulsing stream of bits and bytes” (p.7). In other words, there is not an end in “unfinished” but it is a matter of what is yet to come. Lunenfeld explores the idea of unfinished in three constructed thoughts of unfinished space, unfinished story and unfinished time. The purpose of this paper is to measure the immeasurableness of World of Warcraft in context to Lunenfeld’s definition of unfinished space, unfinished story and unfinished time. By looking at architectural/occupying space in the game, story/narrative of players, and use of time in play/creation, Lunenfeld’s concepts of “unfinished” will be used in understanding just how far the borders of World of Warcraft really extend.

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Written by ANBecker. This project is adapted from the final paper for the LIS 585 Multimedia Literacy for the LIS 600 Capping Exercise. March 9th 2010.