This book analyzes the effect of policy on the digital game complex: government, industry, corporations, distributors, players, and the like. Contributors argue that digital games are not created nor consumed outside of the complex power relationships that dictate the full production and distribution cycles, and that we need to consider those relationships in order to effectively "read" and analyze digital games. Through examining a selection of policies, e.g. the Australian government’s refusal (until recently) to allow an R18 rating for digital games, Blizzard’s policy in regards to intellectual property, Electronic Arts’ corporate policy for downloadable content (DLC), they show how policy, that is to say the rules governing the production, distribution and consumption of digital games, has a tangible effect upon our understanding of the digital game medium.
Table of Contents
Introduction Steven Conway & Jennifer deWinter Section I: Intellectual Property, Privacy, and Copyright 1. Laws of the Game: Intellectual Property in the Video Game Industry Mark Methenitis 2. Digital Locks, Labor, and Play in Canada’s Copyright Policy: Filtering Power through Configurations of Game Development Owen Livermore 3. The Princess Doesn’t Leave the Castle: How Nintendo's WiiWare Imprisons Indie Game Design Theo Plothe 4. Policies, Terms of Service, and Social Networking Games Stephanie Vie Section II: Rating Systems and Cultural Politics 5. E(SRB) Is for Everyone: Game Ratings and the Practice of Content Evaluation Judd Ethan Ruggill and Ken S. McAllister 6. Games for Grown-Ups?: An Historical Account of the Australian Classification System Steven Conway and Laura M. Crawford 7. Rockstar versus Australia Mark Finn 8. Play Britannia: The Development of U.K. Video Game Policy Ren Reynolds Section III: Violence in Video Games 9. Re-conceptualizing Game Violence: Who Is Being Protected and from What? Gareth Schott and Frans Mäyrä 10. Playing Around with Causes of Violent Crime: Violent Video Games as a Diversion from the Policy Challenges Involved in Understanding and Reducing Violent Crime James D. Ivory and Adrienne Holz Ivory 11. Banning Violent Video Games in Switzerland: A Public Problem Going Unnoticed Michael Perret 12. Toxic Gamer Culture, Corporate Regulation, and Standards of Behavior among Players of Online Games Thorsten Busch, Kelly Boudreau, and Mia Consalvo Section IV: Politics and Regulations 13. The Right to Play in the Digital Era Tom Apperley 14. Against the Arcade: Video Gaming Regulation and the Legacy of Pinball Carly A. Kocurek 15. Curt Schilling’s Gold Coins: Lessons for Creative Industry Policy in Light of the 38 Studios Collapse Randy Nichols 16. The Ban on Gaming Consoles in China: Protecting National Culture, Morals, and Industry within an International Regulatory Framework Bjarke Liboriussen, Andrew White, and Dan Wang 17. Regulating Rape: The Case of RapeLay, Domestic Markets, International Outrage, and Cultural Imperialism Jennifer deWinter Afterword Ashley S. Lipson
Steven Conway is a convenor and lecturer in the area of Games & Interactivity at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.
Jennifer deWinter is Associate Professor of Rhetoric and faculty in the Interactive Media and Game Design program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA.