There is little question of the social, cultural and economic importance of video games in the world today, with gaming now rivalling the movie and music sectors as a major leisure industry and pastime. The significance of video games within our everyday lives has certainly been increased and shaped by new technologies and gaming patterns, including the rise of home-based games consoles, advances in mobile telephone technology, the rise in more 'sociable' forms of gaming, and of course the advent of the Internet.

This book explores the opportunities, challenges and patterns of gameplay and sociality afforded by the Internet and online gaming. Bringing together a series of original essays from both leading and emerging academics in the field of game studies, many of which employ new empirical work and innovative theoretical approaches to gaming, this book considers key issues crucial to our understanding of online gaming and associated social relations, including: patterns of play, legal and copyright issues, player production, identity construction, gamer communities, communication, patterns of social exclusion and inclusion around religion, gender and disability, and future directions in online gaming.

part |22 pages


chapter |20 pages

The Social and Cultural Significance of Online Gaming

ByGarry Crawford, Victoria K. Gosling, Ben Light

part |136 pages

Production and Play

chapter |15 pages

Player Production and Innovation in Online Games

Time for New Rules?
ByAphra Kerr

chapter |20 pages

Conflict, thought Communities and Textual Appropriation in MMORPGs

ByEsther MacCallum-Stewart

chapter |13 pages

Thrift Players in a Twisted Game World?

A Study of Private Online Game Servers
ByHolin Lin, Chuen-Tsai Sun

chapter |20 pages

The Only (End)Game in Town

Designing for Retention in World of Warcraft
ByDouglas Brown

chapter |15 pages

The Boardgame Online

Simulating the Experience of Physical Games
ByNeil Randall

chapter |22 pages

Games in the Mobile Internet

Understanding Contextual Play in Flickr and Facebook
ByFrans Mäyrä

chapter |18 pages

Framing the Game

Four Game-Related Approaches to Goffman's Frames
ByRené Glas, Kristine Jørgensen, Torill Mortensen, Luca Rossi

part |120 pages

Communities and Communication

chapter |23 pages


The Construction of Game Refugees and Fictive Ethnicities
ByCelia Pearce, Artemesia

chapter |17 pages

The Rise and Fall of ‘Cardboard Tube Samurai'

Kenneth Burke Identifying with the World of Warcraft
ByChristopher A. Paul, Jeffrey Philpott

chapter |12 pages

Recallin' Fagin

Linguistic Accents, Intertextuality and Othering in Narrative Offline and Online Video Games
ByAstrid Ensslin

chapter |13 pages

Second Life as a Digitally Mediated Third Place

Social Capital in Virtual World Communities
ByFern M. Delamere

chapter |13 pages


Visualizing Physical Abuse in a Virtual Environment
ByKate E. Taylor

part |16 pages


chapter |14 pages

It's Not Just a Game

Contemporary Challenges for Games Research and the Internet
ByGarry Crawford, Victoria K. Gosling, Ben Light