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Video Game Worlds: Working at Play in the Culture of EverQuest
by Timothy Rowlands
Left Coast Press, 2012
Cloth: 978-1-61132-067-1 | Paper: 978-1-61132-068-8 | eISBN: 978-1-61132-069-5
Library of Congress Classification GV1469.37.R69 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 794.8

As massively multiplayer online (MMO) games grow in scope and popularity, what are the characteristics of their emerging gaming culture? How is this culture shaped by the decisions made by game designers and the collective interpretations of a game’s player base? In this book, Timothy Rowlands brings a diverse mix of ethnographic, semiotic, and analytical approaches to the virtual world of EverQuest. Through first-hand player experiences and interviews of other gamers, Rowlands analyzes a gaming environment that, as time goes on, looks less like leisure and more like a workspace. This groundbreaking fusion of sociology and the world of MMOs is a must read for scholars and gamers alike.
Timothy Rowlands is currently a post-doctoral researcher with the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. He researches online communities and the potential they have for creating spaces in which people construct, re-invent and negotiate online identities. His work crosses the disciplinary boundaries of sociology, anthropology, communications, cultural studies and new media studies while focusing on the shaping of virtual selves. His research utilizes traditional qualitative approaches such as ethnographic and interview methods while applying them to studies of online spaces and communities. At the same time, he brings a deep commitment to texts through his emphasis on in situ semiotics.
    Preface1. Introduction2. The Emergence of the Dominant Strategy3. The Holy Trinity Camp Group4. A Textual Reality5. The Membership Career6. Playing at Empire7. Whither Open Space?8. ConclusionReferencesIndex

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