Online Gaming in Context: The social and cultural significance of online games (Routledge Advances in Sociology)

Online Gaming in Context: The social and cultural significance of online games (Routledge Advances in Sociology)

Language: English

Pages: 313

ISBN: B0073UW6L6

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


There is little question of the social, cultural and economic importance of video games in the world today, with gaming now rivalling the movie and music sectors as a major leisure industry and pastime. The significance of video games within our everyday lives has certainly been increased and shaped by new technologies and gaming patterns, including the rise of home-based games consoles, advances in mobile telephone technology, the rise in more 'sociable' forms of gaming, and of course the advent of the Internet.

This book explores the opportunities, challenges and patterns of gameplay and sociality afforded by the Internet and online gaming. Bringing together a series of original essays from both leading and emerging academics in the field of game studies, many of which employ new empirical work and innovative theoretical approaches to gaming, this book considers key issues crucial to our understanding of online gaming and associated social relations, including: patterns of play, legal and copyright issues, player production, identity construction, gamer communities, communication, patterns of social exclusion and inclusion around religion, gender and disability, and future directions in online gaming.

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made the game easier to play, in effect negating the accomplishments (and status) of more experienced players, precipitated a mass exodus in 2005 (Kohler 2005). When I first began my Uru research in 2004, there was a group of 800 self-identified Sims Online Refugees in There.com. These players had independently adopted the practice of ‘trans-ludic’ identities, recreating the same names and appearance as their avatars from The Sims Online. The launch of World of Warcraft in 2004 precipitated a

was released as beta version in 2003, and was quickly populated by up to 10,000 players; however (at least at that point), Uru did not make it to full release, closing after less than 6 months. What to that point had been primarily a single-person game series, and Pearce suggests, played by many who would describe themselves as ‘loners’ became an online communal 18 Crawford et al. experience. And once the closure of the game was announced, players began to almost immediately discuss and make

longterm raid dungeons and skill-testing arena matches as well as hefty daily ‘grinds’. It supports players’ meandering through the content just to see its extremes in action in the easier 10 player raid instances or the all-out PvP battle in Wintergrasp. At the same time, it is also easy to slice through the content and find a direct way to maximize a character’s effectiveness over time. WoW provides for the different player types its drip-feed of improvement and agency is controlled by the

They also do not account for Blizzard’s far-east operations since there has been controversy and murkiness in this area ever since early 2008. Chinese WoW players do not The only (end)game in town 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 91 subscribe monthly, but instead buy game time on a pay-as-you-go basis. Before figures became unreliable, it was claimed that there were five million WoW players in China. This can all be verified on the EU wow armory page for my main character at the following URL, but

eminently different from the relationship experienced by a sport, like soccer, such indulgences are acceptable. As Taylor (2007: 113) elaborates: Games are typically thought of as closed systems of play in which formal rules allow players to operate within a ‘magic circle’ outside the cares of everyday life and the world. This rhetoric often evokes a sense that the player steps through a kind of looking glass and enters a pure game space. From Monopoly to Final Fantasy, commercial games in

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