Dissertation: Glas, R. (2010). Games of Stake

Rene Glas (2010) Games of StakeTitle: Games of Stake: Control, agency and ownership in World of Warcraft
Author: René Glas
Year: 2010
Additional: Doctoral Dissertation, University of Amsterdam
Available at: http://dare.uva.nl/en/record/357610

World of Warcraft has become one of the most significant computer games of recent years. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game (or MMORPG) has introduced millions of players around the world to new forms of community-based play within a constantly evolving virtual environment. The game encourages and facilitates players to appropriate and shape the game to their own wishes and needs, resulting in highly diverse forms of play and participation. Despite – or because of – this freedom, constant negotiations about the rules of play erupt between different types of players and the game’s developer, Blizzard Entertainment, as each group has its own stakes in the game. In this study, World of Warcraft is framed as a complex socio-cultural phenomenon defined by and evolving as a result of these negotiation processes between stakeholders, which are called ‘games of stake’, on ludic, social, technological, and managerial levels. This analysis of games of stake provides insight into the tactics used to gain and/or keep control, agency and ownership in shared but nevertheless contested spaces of interaction. As such, this study is emblematic of the struggles between consumers and producers in our increasingly collaborative and participatory media landscape.

1) Framing the Game
—> 1.1) Introduction
—> 1.2) Game Design
—> 1.3) Game Play
—> 1.4) Game Culture
—> 1.5) Game Contract
—> 1.6) Games of Stake
—> 1.7) Conclusion
2) Researching the Game
—> 2.1) Introduction
—> 2.2) Between Play and Research
—> 2.3) Between Players and Blizzard
—> 2.4) Between Field and Scene
—> 2.5) Conclusion
3) Controlling the Game
—> 3.1) Introduction
—> 3.2) Setting up the Game
—> 3.3) The Rules of Play
—> 3.4) Playing with Fiction
—> 3.5) Conclusion
4) Gaming the Game
—> 4.1) Introduction
—> 4.2) It’s about Time
—> 4.3) Twinking, or Playing Another Game
—> 4.4) Playing the Interface
—> 4.5) Conclusion
5) Claiming the Game
—> 5.1) Introduction
—> 5.2) Virtual thievery
—> 5.3) Performing on the Edge of Rules and Fiction
—> 5.4) The Fragmented and the Multiple
—> 5.5) Conclusion

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