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Productive Players: Online Computer Games' Challenge to Conventional Media Forms

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The online multi-user game is an exemplar of the emergent structures of interactive media. Social relationships and community networks are formed, and developer/player relationships are negotiated around ongoing development of the game features and player-created content. The line between production and consumption of the text has become blurred, and the lines between social and economic relationships must be redrawn. This article explores these relationships, using EverQuest as a case study. It suggests that the dynamic, mutable, and emergent qualities of the online multiplayer game exceed the limits of the reifying processes embodied by copyright law and content regulation regimes.

Keywords: Intellectual Property; Massive Multiplayer Online Games; Players; Production; Regulation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2005

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