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The Commodification of Play in Diablo 3 – Understanding the Real Money Market Place
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2012 (English)In: The Commodification of Play in Diablo 3 – Understanding the Real Money Market Place, 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper critically analyzes the real money market place, a feature of the game Diablo 3. To do so I compare the concepts of the audience commodity, prosumption, produsage and playbour to the model of Diablo’s real money market place. The conclusion is that the market place is not fully described by any of the proposed models but is something in-between. Using interview, participant observation and online media this paper then explains the consequences of this feature on the game and the emerging game culture of Diablo. With letting the business model of Diablo 3 influence the game design Blizzard is not acting according to its own core value but instead following suggestions from marketing research and let the design follow the business model. (Hamari and Lehdonvirtä, 2010)

This behavior of a company does fit the first filter of the propaganda model. (Herman and Chomsky, 1988) Game companies as media producers are in a capitalist system forced to act according to financial considerations and not artistic or ethical ones. It marks the departure of even AAA games from a focus on producing the best possible product for their audience to abusing audience labor and to forging games after a monetization model instead of vice versa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191328OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-191328DiVA: diva2:585335
Meaningful Play 2012
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09

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