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Play Between Worlds Exploring Online Game Culture

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ISBN-10: 0262201631

ISBN-13: 9780262201636

Edition: 2009

Authors: T. L. Taylor

List price: $7.75
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In Play Between Worlds, T. L. Taylor examines multiplayer gaming life as it is lived on the borders, in the gaps--as players slip in and out of complex social networks that cross online and offline space. Taylor questions the common assumption that playing computer games is an isolating and alienating activity indulged in by solitary teenage boys. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), in which thousands of players participate in a virtual game world in real time, are in fact actively designed for sociability. Games like the popular Everquest, she argues, are fundamentally social spaces. Taylor's detailed look at Everquestoffers a snapshot of multiplayer culture. Drawing on her own experience as an Everquestplayer (as a female Gnome Necromancer)--including her attendance at an EverquestFan Faire, with its blurring of online-and offline life--and extensive research, Taylor not only shows us something about games but raises broader cultural issues. She considers "power gamers," who play in ways that seem closer to work, and examines our underlying notions of what constitutes play--and why play sometimes feels like work and may even be painful, repetitive, and boring. She looks at the women who play Everquestand finds they don't fit the narrow stereotype of women gamers, which may cast into doubt our standardized and preconceived ideas of femininity. And she explores the questions of who owns game space--what happens when emergent player culture confronts the major corporation behind the game.
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Book details

List price: $7.75
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 2/24/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 206
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

T. L. Taylor is Associate Professor in Comparative Media Studies at MIT. She is the author of Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture (MIT Press).

Finding New Worlds
Gaming Lifeworlds: Social Play in Persistent Environments
Beyond Fun: Instrumental Play and Power Gamers
Where the Women Are
Whose Game Is This Anyway?
The Future of Persistent Worlds and Critical Game Studies