After reading your article, "Finding New Worlds from Play Between Worlds", I was surprised to see the findings you encountered in your research. The first thing that I could relate to was the kind of people you saw at the EverQuest convention. You state, "I wonder, as I have in the past, why that singular image of the make teenage isolate hanging out or gaming online holds so strong in the face of the real play". I think that most people think that players of online games are young male teenagers who have nothing else to do. But to my surprise you talk about seeing couples, women, teenagers, and even adults in their twenties and thirties.
Another point that you make is whether or not to address people by their game names or real names. It's interesting that everyone put their game names on their name tags, and I think this is done so that people can stay within their character and in that mindset. You say, "At some level it feels a bit taboo to presume you could ask about people's 'real' names". I think that by asking other's what their real names are they then feel as though they are not their character and it takes their whole mindset out of EverQuest. In a way EQ is definitely an outlet for people to express an identity that most people will never see. I would absolutely act a different way or maybe in a whole different role at a gaming convention then I would at a business convention.
I noticed how serious people were about the game when you began talking about the man with virtual flowers. You explain, "He tells us that he is known for handing out 'virtual' flowers in the game, and I notice how he is mimicking his online identity and actions, how is performing a kind of offline incarnation of his online persona". I think because EQ is a MMOG that means that a lot of people connect with the game and to act out the actions of the game in real life is an experience that not many have.
I think what's important to see in your research is how people use this game and integrate it into their lives and the culture around them. You expand on the different relationships that arise in stating, "The relationship between work and play, gender identities, the use of technology in our lives, and our complicated relationship with commercial culture". I think the game of EverQuest challenges all of these relationships as well as forms them. Gender identities are apparent in the game, in the detail that is it not only men and boys playing this game, but women and girls as well. Our technology is always changing but this game has managed to stay on top, even though new sites are constantly being produced. Overall, I think that your experience with this particular group of gamers opened my eyes to who plays these games and how they impact gamer's lives.