Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

“No piracy talk”: how online brand communities work to denormalize controversial gaming practices

Buy Article:

$43.07 + tax (Refund Policy)


The purpose of this study is to explain how online brand communities work to support the denormalization of controversial (i.e. illegal yet normalized) gaming practices.


This qualitative study was characterized by long-term immersion in an online brand community for Brazilian Xbox gamers. The dataset includes online and offline interactions with community members, interviews, and online archival data.


This study shows how online brand community members promoted legal gaming in a market where piracy was prevalent. It demonstrates how community members worked to establish coherence; engaged in cognitive participation; developed collective action that extended beyond the community; and reflected on their own work.

Research limitations/implications

This study identifies online brand communities as a potential ally in combating controversial practices in online gaming; complements individual and behavioral approaches in explaining why consumers adopt controversial practices in online environments; and adds a normalization framework to the toolkit of Internet researchers.

Practical implications

This study identifies ways in which the potential of online brand communities can be leveraged to reduce consumer adherence to controversial gaming practices through denormalizing these and normalizing alternative practices that may be more desirable to companies and other stakeholders.


This long-term, qualitative study inspired by normalization process theory offers an innovative perspective on the online practices of consumers who engage with a brand in ways that create value for themselves and for the brand.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Illegal gaming; Normalization; Online brand community; Piracy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Management and Marketing, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia 2: Business School, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, PUCRS, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Publication date: April 10, 2020

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more