The massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft has become one of the most popular computer games of the past decade, introducing millions around the world to community-based play. Within the boundaries set by its design, the game encourages players to appropriate and shape the game to their own wishes, resulting in highly diverse forms of play and participation. This illuminating study frames World of Warcraft as a complex socio-cultural phenomenon defined by and evolving as a result of the negotiations between groups of players as well as the game's owners, throwing new light on complex consumer-producer relationships in the increasingly participatory but still tightly controlled media of online games.
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Number of pages: 220
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 15 mm
In this volume, a multi-year study of a globally bestselling MMOG, Glas offers us detailed descriptions and theoretically informed analysis of the relationships between players and developers of World of Warcraft. Many game studies scholars have argued for the importance of understanding the contexts of gameplay such as platforms and paratexts, but Glas goes further, showing us how players' exploitation of those parameters affords as well as limits their desires for control and agency in WoW. He also argues that their actions ultimately shape how they understand the game, its fiction and their relationships with other players. This book is required reading for anyone interested in online games, virtual worlds and deviant play. -- Mia Consalvo, Canada Research Chair in Game Studies & Design, Concordia University