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Publications (10 of 13) Show all publications
Prax, P. (2019). Is this still participation?: A case study of the disempowerment of player labourers. In: : . Paper presented at DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is this still participation?: A case study of the disempowerment of player labourers
2019 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Critical research into games and player labour has shown that player creators remain disempowered despite the impact of their work. On the other hand, player-creators enjoy their work, they freely and in an informed manner consent to working without pay, and they can use their unpaid labour as experience and CV-entries. This paper aims to critically discuss these arguments in the light of a specifically chosen case study. The analysis is informed by expert interviews of player creators and it uses Carpentier’s (2016) analytic framework for participatory processes. This analysis of the power relationship between player creators and game developer is elemental for the discussion around unpaid player labour. In this case the company has enough power to purposefully keep the involvement of players secret which supports the notion of exploitation of free labour. The discussion suggests possible ways forward and connects to the ongoing unionization movement in the industry.

Keywords
Game, Gaming, Digial Games, Participation, Disempowerment, Labour, Co-creation, Case study, Critical research, Critical theory, Exploitation
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-394091 (URN)
Conference
DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix
Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-15Bibliographically approved
Van Rooij, A. J., Ferguson, C. J., Carras, M. C., Kardefelt-Winther, D., Shi, J., Aarseth, E., . . . Przybylski, A. K. (2018). A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 7(1), 1-9
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Behavioral Addictions, ISSN 2062-5871, E-ISSN 2063-5303, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We greatly appreciate the care and thought that is evident in the 10 commentaries that discuss our debate paper, the majority of which argued in favor of a formalized ICD-11 gaming disorder. We agree that there are some people whose play of video games is related to life problems. We believe that understanding this population and the nature and severity of the problems they experience should be a focus area for future research. However, moving from research construct to formal disorder requires a much stronger evidence base than we currently have. The burden of evidence and the clinical utility should be extremely high, because there is a genuine risk of abuse of diagnoses. We provide suggestions about the level of evidence that might be required: transparent and preregistered studies, a better demarcation of the subject area that includes a rationale for focusing on gaming particularly versus a more general behavioral addictions concept, the exploration of non-addiction approaches, and the unbiased exploration of clinical approaches that treat potentially underlying issues, such as depressive mood or social anxiety first. We acknowledge there could be benefits to formalizing gaming disorder, many of which were highlighted by colleagues in their commentaries, but we think they do not yet outweigh the wider societal and public health risks involved. Given the gravity of diagnostic classification and its wider societal impact, we urge our colleagues at the WHO to err on the side of caution for now and postpone the formalization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AKADEMIAI KIADO RT, 2018
Keywords
gaming disorder, International Classification of Diseases-11, World Health Organization, diagnosis, classification, mental disorders, moral panic
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353181 (URN)10.1556/2006.7.2018.19 (DOI)000429554100001 ()29529886 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2018-06-18 Created: 2018-06-18 Last updated: 2018-06-18Bibliographically approved
Prax, P. (2018). Between global competition, marketing, deviant play, and cheating - High-end raiding in ‘World of Warcraft’. Comunicazione Sociali (1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Between global competition, marketing, deviant play, and cheating - High-end raiding in ‘World of Warcraft’
2018 (English)In: Comunicazione Sociali, ISSN 0392-8667, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Keywords
co-creative game design, critical play, participation, struggle, World of Warcraft
National Category
Media Studies
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-348888 (URN)10.26350/001200_000007 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-04-18 Created: 2018-04-18 Last updated: 2019-09-27Bibliographically approved
Prax, P. & Rajkowska, P. (2018). Problem Gaming from the Perspective of Treatment. In: Jessica Enevold, Anne Mette Thorhauge, Andreas Gregersen (Ed.), What’s the Problem in Problem Gaming?: Nordic Research Perspectives (pp. 91-106). Gothenburg: Nordicom
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Problem Gaming from the Perspective of Treatment
2018 (English)In: What’s the Problem in Problem Gaming?: Nordic Research Perspectives / [ed] Jessica Enevold, Anne Mette Thorhauge, Andreas Gregersen, Gothenburg: Nordicom, 2018, p. 91-106Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Problem gaming has so far been defined through, on one hand, psychological models of addiction and on the other, the network approach which focuses on individual’s social environment. This chapter addresses the need expressed in prior research for the perspective of both the people who are treating problem gaming every day as well as those who are receiving treatment and whose lives are most impacted by it. We conducted semi-structured interviews with treatment professionals, gamers, and their parents from two Swedish treatment centers. The results show that from the perspective of the three groups of interviewees problem gaming is not defined through the behavior of the gamer. Instead the interviewees emphasize the negative effects the gaming behavior has on other areas of life leading to the gamer’s suffering. These results contribute to a more nuanced understanding of problem gaming and are used to discuss existing notions of problem gaming and game addiction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gothenburg: Nordicom, 2018
Keywords
game addiction, problem gaming, treatment, spelberoende
National Category
Media Studies
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-348890 (URN)978-91-87957-88-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-04-18 Created: 2018-04-18 Last updated: 2018-04-19Bibliographically approved
Prax, P. (2017). Envisager la co-création dans les jeux en ligne comme média alternatif [Co-Creativity in Online Games as Alternative Media]. Néothèque, 257-287
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Envisager la co-création dans les jeux en ligne comme média alternatif [Co-Creativity in Online Games as Alternative Media]
2017 (French)In: Néothèque, p. 257-287Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a hegemonic media system  where cultural industries produce media as a for-profit commodity (Gramsci,1971; Williams,1977; Chomsky, 2003), games and virtual worlds might have the potential to allow players to experience a system outside of these constraints and to “escape ideological politics”(Fenton, 2010:28) through co-creation of play. This paper proposes a model for co-creation of games as alternative media. The model uses actual play practices to understand the way it relates to power in relationship to the owner of the game and to the political and cultural influence co-creation might have in this relationship. The model requires for player creation of a text of communication infrastructure that changes the properties of the game from which play emerges for a considerable group of players who share a particular practice of play. This change as to be accomplished not only by playing the game but through changing how others play it in a distinct creative activity and it needs to have the potential to subvert or contest the original design of the game. The paper uses a user-created training tool for playing World of Warcraft, the “Teron Gorefiend Simulator”, as a critical case study to test the model. The model is situated in the discussion around cross-media fandom and media convergence, institutional definition of authorship, and the precarity of the production environments of co-creators.

Keywords
Co-creation, alternative media, digital games, participation, modding
National Category
Media Studies
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-348889 (URN)
Available from: 2018-04-18 Created: 2018-04-18 Last updated: 2018-06-04Bibliographically approved
Prax, P. (2016). Co-creative Game Design as Participatory Alternative Media. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-creative Game Design as Participatory Alternative Media
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The possibility of co-creation exists for all media, but game design has developed a culture that is unusually open to co-creation. This dissertation investigates significant cases of co-creation in mainstream games in order to explore how games can be co-created as alternative or critical media by their players.

The core argument in the dissertation is that players co-create the design of a game only if certain conditions are met, namely: (1) player creation of a text or communication infrastructure that modifies the properties of the game and from which play emerges; (2) that this is done for a considerable group of players who share a particular practice of play; (3) that this is done not only by playing the game but by changing how others play it in a distinct creative activity, and (4), with the potential to subvert or contest the original design of the game.

This situation where player creators have influence over the design of the game (but little power to enforce their interests) is problematic from the perspective of alternative or critical media, as alternative, local, production is seen as one reason for why a medium can have an alternative message.

The industrial production of games as cultural commodities does limit the potential of co-creative game design for subversion because it reduces the level of participation in the creation process, thus keeping player creators relatively disempowered. Player creators do have influence on the design of the game, while at the same time having very little power to enforce their interests and design visions. The influence of player creators comes from the consumer power of millions of players who use co-created assets and who want to them to continue exiting, and this creates a mutually dependent relationship (and even partnership), between co-creators and commercial owners.

The dissertation concludes that co-creative game design, despite limitations related to the industrial production of games as cultural commodities, is already happening, and shows a potential for turning games into alternative media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. p. 95
Series
Uppsala Studies in Media and Communication, ISSN 1651-4777 ; 11
Keywords
Co-creation, co-creative game design, game design, participation, alterna-tive media, critical media, open innovation, modding, add-ons, MMOs, MMORPG, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, interface
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-287659 (URN)978-91-554-9599-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-15, HS 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-04-26 Last updated: 2018-06-04
Prax, P. (2015). Co-Creative Game Design in MMORPGs. In: 2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference: . Paper presented at DiGRA '15, Diversity of Play, May 14th-17th, Lüneburg, Germany.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-Creative Game Design in MMORPGs
2015 (English)In: 2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper proposes a model for co-creation of games as alternative media. The model uses actual play practices to understand the political and cultural influence co-creation might have in the relationship between the owner of the game and the players. The model requires for player creation of a text or communication infrastructure that changes the properties of the game from which play emerges not only for the player herself but for a considerable group of players who share a particular practice of play. This change has to be accomplished not only by playing the game but through changing how others play it in a distinct creative activity. It needs to have the potential to subvert or contest the original design of the game. This model is useful for understanding different kinds of player co-creation as well as the extend of co-creative game design and can be a tool for political work towards participatory cultural production in games.

Keywords
Co-creation, Game Design, Authorship, MMORPGs, World of Warcraft
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-263269 (URN)
Conference
DiGRA '15, Diversity of Play, May 14th-17th, Lüneburg, Germany
Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2016-05-30Bibliographically approved
Prax, P. (2013). Game Design and Business Model: an Analysis of Diablo 3. In: DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies. Paper presented at Digital Games Research Association, DiGRA '13, August 26-29, 2013 Atlanta, USA.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Game Design and Business Model: an Analysis of Diablo 3
2013 (English)In: DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies, 2013Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper develops a theoretical framework for analyzing if a certain feature of the design of a game has been introduced to increase the financial profit created over a specific revenue stream. The framework is created from existing theory and consists of the points 1. Revenue Generation, 2. Game Design and Business Model Integration, and 3. Problematic Game Design. If all these points are given for a certain design feature than it has been implemented into the game to increase revenue. This framework is the used to analyze the design of the successful PC game Diablo 3. Diablo 3 features an auction house that allows players to trade their virtual items for real money while the owner of the game, Blizzard Entertainment, collects a fee for every transaction. The analysis shows that the economy of Diablo 3 is designed to increase the revenue of the real-money market place.

National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-263273 (URN)
Conference
Digital Games Research Association, DiGRA '13, August 26-29, 2013 Atlanta, USA
Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2016-05-30Bibliographically approved
Christensen, C. & Prax, P. (2012). Assemblage, adaptation and apps: Smartphones and mobile gaming. Continuum. Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 26(5), 731-739
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assemblage, adaptation and apps: Smartphones and mobile gaming
2012 (English)In: Continuum. Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, ISSN 1030-4312, E-ISSN 1469-3666, Vol. 26, no 5, p. 731-739Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As scholars such as Goggin (2009a) have noted, the rapid uptake of 'smartphones' has reshaped the ways in which software developers, users, and academics consider the interrelationship between mobility, culture, technology hardware, and the Internet. In addition, this uptake has added a significant new layer of encrustations around what we might define as 'standard' uses of mobile technologies. Once limited to the playing of pre-loaded (offline) games onmobile handsets, smartphones have allowed for not only mobile interactivity and enhanced visuals, but also the possibility of downloading apps that allow the user to add multiple new dimensions to the gaming experience. These developments are but one more factor in 'thinking about games as assemblage, wherein many varying actors and unfolding processes make up the site and action' (Taylor 2009, 332). Taking the theoretical perspectives of adaptation (Goggin 2009a; Farnsworth and Austrin 2010) and assemblage (Taylor 2009; Goggin 2009b) we will discuss three apps linked to the enormously popular World of Warcraft game, and the ways in which these applications both reshape how we might think about and use technology, and how smartphones and mobile applications also reconfigure social, technological, and generic relations.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-182262 (URN)10.1080/10304312.2012.706461 (DOI)000308239600006 ()
Available from: 2012-10-09 Created: 2012-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
Prax, P. (2012). Co-creative interface development in MMORPGs: the case of World of Warcraft add-ons. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, 4(1), 3-24
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-creative interface development in MMORPGs: the case of World of Warcraft add-ons
2012 (English)In: Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, ISSN 1757-191X, E-ISSN 1757-1928, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 3-24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article argues that the innovation in the interface design of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft is to a substantial part originating in the user-created interface modifications called add-ons. This is shown in an analysis of the connection of the development in interface design to the creation of interface modification add-ons by players. The analysis is informed by interviews with specialists in the community of add-on programmers and focuses on the content and functionality of the add-ons mapped against the respective standard interface elements including an explanation of the problem they solve for the player and a measure of the similarity between them. The article also gives an outlook on the influence of these interface-modifications on the actual practice of game play as well as on game design and interface design by the game producer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Intellect Ltd., 2012
Keywords
innovation, interface design, game communities, MMORPGs, player-created, immaterial labour
National Category
Media Studies
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282892 (URN)10.1386/jgvw.4.1.3_1 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-04-07 Created: 2016-04-07 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-6597-1738

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