Clan (video gaming)
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In computer and video gaming, a Clan, Guild or Faction is an organized group of players that regularly play together in particular (or various) multiplayer games. Some people might say that a "clan" or "guild" becomes like a family, and that all opinions and decisions represent each single member in the "clan" or "guild". These games range from groups of a few friends to 4000-person organizations, with a broad range of structures, goals and members. The lifespan of a clan also varies considerably, from a few weeks or months to over a decade. Numerous clans exist for nearly every online game available today, notably in first-person shooters, massively multiplayer games, role-playing video games, and strategy games. There are also meta-groups that span a wide variety of games.
In 1996 idsoftware created the concept of clans allowing players to formally group together as a team to compete with other clans in multiplayer Quake. id allowed clans to submit name and image to their Official Clan List on their website. Clans would create an abbreviation or tag that they would append to their player name signifying clan membership.
Some of the earliest Quake clans were: 311 (311), Archon's Minions (AM), Earthquake (EQ), Clandestine Incorporated (CDI), Dark Requiem (DR), Gibbering Idiots (GI), Impulse9 (i9), Loki's Minions (LM), Natural Born Killers (NBK), Postal (POST), Red Dragons (RD), Ruthless Bastards (RB), the clanberries (CB), Undead Smurfs (SMURF) and Unforgiven (xUx).
Certain clans became known for special practices. The Ranger Clan would create movies created within the Quake engine. The Force Clan built an elaborate website devoted to Quake humor.
Clans in FPSs
As the First-Person Shooter, or FPS, became increasingly popular the idea of a competitive clan became widely accepted. Clans became teams, or elite clan members form teams to represent the clan in online battle.
FPS clans normally host servers with rules that they like. For instance if a group of gamers like to use pistols only they could join a clan that runs a pistols only server and the clan would enforce the rules. So it is important to join a clan that has server rules you enjoy or you could easily find yourself booted from the clan.
Clans in RPGs
Clans also exist in other genres, where they are often referred to by a different name and serve a purpose more suited to the game. Many online massively multiplayer and role-playing video games tend to call them "guilds" or invent their own term.
Examples of this include Star Wars Galaxies ("player associations") and EVE Online ("corporations",). EVE Online is also notable for having defined the system in more detail than is common in most MMOs, with "alliances" being a larger grouping. In the superhero-based game City of Heroes, they are called "supergroups", and are similar in structure to comic book hero organizations like the X-Men. Lastly, in Final Fantasy XI, such clans are called "linkshells" and players of the game have the tendency and ability to be in more than one at once.
Clans in simulation games
- See main article Virtual Airline
Many simulation games, such as those in the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, have clans that follow similar patterns to other genres. One notable type of simulation clan are Virtual Airlines. A Virtual airline (VA) is a dedicated hobby organization that uses flight simulation to model the operations of an airline. Virtual Airlines generally have a presence on the Internet, similar to a real airline. It has been proposed that there are over 100 Virtual Airlines of significance currently active, with tens of thousands of participants at any one time.
- "Helping Parents Get Set - A Family Guide to Games" (pdf). Microsoft. 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Wagner, Michael (2007). Friedrich von Borries, Steffen P. Walz, Matthias Böttger, ed. Space Time Play: Computer Games, Architecture and Urbanism - the Next Level. Birkhauser Verlag AG. p. 183. ISBN 978-3-7643-8414-2.
- "Star Wars Galaxies - Glossary". Retrieved 2007-11-17. "A Player association is a group of players who have formalized their group using the in-game tools."
- "EVE Online Frequently Asked Questions, Corporations". Retrieved 2007-11-17. "Corporations are groups of players joining together for a common goal or purpose, much like guilds or clans in other games."
- Mark, Robert (1999). Professional Pilot Career Guide. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 330. ISBN 0-07-134691-0.
- Harvesting the Hive:How online games drive innovation article from Esther Dyson's EDventure, see section "Beyond collaboration:Group to group interaction".
- Computer Games and the Mi Games" by J.C. Herz.
- Youth in Transition:The Challenge of Generational change in Asia proceedings of the 15th Biennial Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils released by UNESCO Bangkok, see section 16 "Youth culture in online game worlds: Emergence of cyber lifestyles in Korean society" by Sang-Min Whang, Department of Psychology Yonsei University.