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Co-creative interface development in MMORPGs – the case of World of Warcraft add-ons

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This article argues that the innovation in the interface design of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft is to a substantial part originating in the user-created interface modifications called add-ons. This is shown in an analysis of the connection of the development in interface design to the creation of interface modification add-ons by players. The analysis is informed by interviews with specialists in the community of add-on programmers and focuses on the content and functionality of the add-ons mapped against the respective standard interface elements including an explanation of the problem they solve for the player and a measure of the similarity between them. The article also gives an outlook on the influence of these interface-modifications on the actual practice of game play as well as on game design and interface design by the game producer.

Keywords: MMORPGs; game communities; immaterial labour; innovation; interface design; player-created

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Uppsala University (Sweden)

Publication date: March 27, 2012

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  • The Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds focuses on theoretical and applied, empirical, critical, rhetorical, creative, economic and professional approaches to the study of electronic games across platforms and genres as well as ludic and serious online environments.
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