Fluid Identities in the Structure of Cyberspace: A Comparison of Philippine and Korean Experiences
Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), one of the most popular Internet cyberspace forms in the world, is regarded as a male-dominated space, constituting over 90 percent of participants, according to statistics collected by Nick Yee (2005). Most players participate in war games, which comprise the main theme for most MMORPG, and grow with their avatar through a series of battles. However, according to theorists like Sadie Plant (1997), cyberspace itself is feminine rather than masculine and, consequently, male identities are inevitably dispersed in this matrix. This assertion seems quite different from what we can perceive on the surface. To apply Plant’s study to the current cyberspace situation, this paper will use MMORPG as a model of cyberspace. Also, to verify Plant’s assertion, this paper will look at the narrative structure of MMORPG by adapting apparatus theory from film studies. This study will also take a critical look at the result of the interviews with Filipino and South Korean players to see how theories and reality match when comparing two different cultures.