Really Fake: The Magic Circle, the Mundane Circle, and the Everyday

Joshua Zimmerman


This article focuses on how the “everyday" has colonized and complicated the virtual world. Using examples drawn primarily from Sony Online Entertainment's Everquest 2, I explore the way that both the institutional force of the everyday and mundane objects such as tables and chairs have come to be a major part of play in MMORPGs. In exploring these topics, I consider the possibility of a "mundane circle" in which mundane objects and activities exist in a fantasy setting. I also examine how the presence of these mundane objects refreshes the fantasy world. In the end, I question whether play can truly be called so when the virtual world is so reminiscent of the real world.


Computer Games; the magic circle; the mundane; the everyday; MMORPG

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