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Type: Journal article
Title: 'For fun rather than profit': Playing around with online games
Author: de Zwart, M.
Citation: Media and Arts Law Review, 2013; 18:106-124
Publisher: LexisNexis Butterworths
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1325-1570
Statement of
Melissa de Zwart
Abstract: Massive Multiplayer Online games (‘MMOs’) provide a rich and varied environment for the creation of user-generated content.This content can alter the nature of the game play, such as through the creation of game modifications (‘mods’), or provide a new form of entertainment and storytelling, by using the game platform or engine to create new works, including machinima, or even new variations of the game, new levels, or guides to other players. In many instances the game provider welcomes and indeed relies upon such contributions.The lack of player instruction in Minecraft, for example, makes the YouTube ‘how to’ videos essential training for many players, and World of Warcraft receives extensive publicity through the distribution of player-made machinima.This article will consider in particular the marginal legal status of modding, a practice undertaken by modders for their own motivations: fame, fun, auditioning for possible future employment, competition; and largely tolerated, occasionally rewarded, celebrated or encouraged by the platform providers, but potentially in breach of the explicit terms of the End User License Agreement. It will conclude that this form of user creativity dwells in the margin between permitted and prohibited activities and exemplifies the uncertainty associated with many forms of digital creativity practiced by users of Web 2.0 platforms, such as games and social networks, every day.
Keywords: Online Games
Massive Multiplayer Online Games
game play
Rights: Copyright status unknown
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