There is little question of the social, cultural and economic importance of video games in the world today, with gaming now rivalling the movie and music sectors as a major leisure industry and pastime. The significance of video games within our everyday lives has certainly been increased and shaped by new technologies and gaming patterns, including the rise of home-based games consoles, advances in mobile telephone technology, the rise in more 'sociable' forms of gaming, and of course the advent of the Internet.
This book explores the opportunities, challenges and patterns of gameplay and sociality afforded by the Internet and online gaming. Bringing together a series of original essays from both leading and emerging academics in the field of game studies, many of which employ new empirical work and innovative theoretical approaches to gaming, this book considers key issues crucial to our understanding of online gaming and associated social relations, including: patterns of play, legal and copyright issues, player production, identity construction, gamer communities, communication, patterns of social exclusion and inclusion around religion, gender and disability, and future directions in online gaming.
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