Online multi-user games: Playing for real

Humphreys, Sal (2003) Online multi-user games: Playing for real. Australian Journal of Communication, 30(1), pp. 79-91.

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The processes of playing give games their central meaning and need to be at the heart of analysis of computer games – play is what animates this medium. To focus on this I want to go beyond assessing digital games in terms of the text - structural features, aesthetic features and functionality - and examine the social and economic engagements of the players. The social engagements of online games derive from a complex interplay between the rules and affordances of a game, the user's offline context, and the online social world created with other players. In this analysis the game 'text'(the boxed product loaded onto the computer) is only one element of a much larger and more open text created by playing. Gamers create content – both through the activity of playing, and through creating 'mods', new levels, new 'skins',new modes of play, that are often appropriated and used by the development companies. Emergent industry models implemented by this form of content creation bring into question the idea that there are discrete consumers and developers. This paper interrogates the boundaries 'old' media studies invoke, of producers, audiences, and text.

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ID Code: 237
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: MMOG, computer games, narrative
ISSN: 0811-6202
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Australia and New Zealand Communication Association
Deposited On: 23 Aug 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2010 01:32

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