Battlefields of Negotiation
Battlefields of Negotiation
Control, Agency, and Ownership in World of Warcraft
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
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PART I: FRAMING THE GAME 1. The Definition Game Tracing the MMORPG genre’s roots 2. The Many Faces of Play Ludic vs. Representational role-playing Problematizing Social Play 3. The Contracts of Play Playing on a License 4. Play and/as Participation Participation as Exploitation? 5. Battlefields of Negotiation PART II: CONTROLLING THE GAME 6. The Setup of Play Network Play Playing Machines Configuring Play 7. The rules of play Designing Play Designing cooperation Facing the other 8. Playing with fiction Representing Azeroth The space of play Stuck in time PART III: GAMING THE GAME 9. It’s about time Paratexts as cheating tools From emergence to progression Hyperproductive demystification 10. Twinking, or playing another game The luxury of twinking Going for the easy kill A game within a game 11. Playing the interface Mods as social surveillance tools Controlling code through theorycrafting Exposing the inside PART IV: CLAIMING THE GAME 12. Virtual thievery Play, work or crime The power of small print Part of the game? 13. Performing on the edge of rules and fiction Our story, your story Looking the other way. Exploration or Exploitation 14. The fragmented and the multiple Community control, controlling community With great power comes great responsibility Playing identity and community CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reviews and Features

"In this volume, a multi-year study of a globally bestselling MMOG, Glas offers us detailed descriptions and theoretically informed analysis of the relationships between players and developers of World of Warcraft.
Many game studies scholars have argued for the importance of understanding the contexts of gameplay such as platforms and paratexts, but Glas goes further, showing us how players’ exploitation of those parameters affords as well as limits their desires for control and agency in WoW. He also argues that their actions ultimately shape how they understand the game, its fiction and their relationships with other players.
This book is required reading for anyone interested in online games, virtual worlds and deviant play." -- Mia Consalvo, Canada Research Chair in Game Studies & Design, Concordia University

René Glas

Battlefields of Negotiation

Control, Agency, and Ownership in World of Warcraft

The massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft has become one of the most popular computer games of the past decade, introducing millions around the world to community-based play. Within the boundaries set by its design, the game encourages players to appropriate and shape the game to their own wishes, resulting in highly diverse forms of play and participation. This illuminating study frames World of Warcraft as a complex socio-cultural phenomenon defined by and evolving as a result of the negotiations between groups of players as well as the game’s owners, throwing new light on complex consumer-producer relationships in the increasingly participatory but still tightly controlled media of online games.

René Glas

René Glas, Assistant Professor, Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University. Recent publications: Glas, R., “Playing with the gamebook: The Final Hours interactive storybook series as playful paratexts”. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (forthcoming); Glas, R. et al. “Literacy at play: An analysis of media literacy games used to foster media literacy competencies.” Frontiers – Special Issue (in press); Glas, R., “Making Mario: Shaping franchise history through paratextual play”. In: Beil, B. et al. (eds.). Paratextualizing Games: Investigations on the Paraphernalia and Peripheries of Play. Bielefield: Bielefield University Press, 2021. pp. 131-161.