Between Global Competition, Marketing, Deviant Play, and Cheating: High-End Raiding in ‘World of Warcraft’
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This article uses the example of high-end raiding in the online game World of Warcraft to investigate the power relationships between players and producers and to examine how the notion of struggle can inform an understanding of co-creative game design. The study is based on a recently published dissertation work and complemented by an interview with two expert interviewees. The results of the study show that while game designers still have a de-facto power position in that they can ban guilds, however, producers are not seen as legitimate when exercising this power. Instead raiding guilds are reluctantly refereeing their game themselves and treat the game company at times even as an inconvenience to be played around. This participatory power is not given to raiders but it is the outcome of a struggle with the producers of the game. Raiders also explicitly criticize the exploitation of their labor in game testing.
keywordsCo-creative game design; critical play; participation; struggle; World of Warcraft.
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