You're in our world now: ownership and access in the proprietary community of an MMOG
Humphreys, Sal (2007) You're in our world now: ownership and access in the proprietary community of an MMOG. In Sugumaran, Vijayan (Ed.) Intelligent information technologies: concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Information Science Reference (IGI Global), Hersey, PA, pp. 2058-2072.
This chapter considers how the interactive and social nature of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) presents challenges to systems of organisation, control and regulation used for more conventional media products. It examines how the interactive structures of games cast players as producers of content, not merely consumers. This productive role creates a distributed production network that challenges the ideas of authorship which underpin copyright and intellectual property. The role of the publishers is shown to encompass community, as well as intellectual property, management. The communities generated within these games are a key source of economic benefit to the publishers. The contract that determines the conditions of access and the forms of governance inside proprietary worlds is considered in light of this newly intensified relationship between commerce and community. Questions are raised about the accountability of publishers, the role of the market and the state in determining conditions of access.
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