Monday, October 02, 2006

Play Between Worlds (2006)

I just finished reading TL Taylor's comprehensive analysis of popular MMOG EverQuest, entitled Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture. She presents a well-rounded and cogent mapping of the various issues that are currently being debated within and around virtual worlds, combining ethnography, political economic analysis, and technology studies to show how MMOGs are best understood as participatory sites of culture. Her chapter on women and gaming ("Where the Women Are") is particularly thoughtful and useful for anyone studying (or playing) digital games, revealing at once the biases and oversights that continue to haunt both game design and scholarship. While I don't agree with all of her conclusions, the book as a whole represents an enormous contribution to games studies, and it's wonderful to see all of her fabulous work on EQ finally compiled and concerted in one place. Highly recommended.

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