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The Complete Cost of Play

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Open Access CC BY 4.0

The Complete Cost of Play (English shop)

An Ethnography of Commercialization in Free-to-Play Game Culture

Ahmed Elmezeny (Author)


Extract, PDF (120 KB)
Table of Contents, PDF (110 KB)

ISBN-13 (Hard Copy) 9783736974012
ISBN-13 (eBook) 9783736964013
Language English
Page Number 248
Lamination of Cover matt
Edition 01
Publication Place Göttingen
Place of Dissertation Augsburg
Publication Date 2021-04-06
General Categorization Dissertation
Departments Medienwissenschaften
Social sciences
Kommunikations- und Informationswissenschaften
Cultural studies
Keywords Commercialization, Game Culture, Spielekultur, Media Culture, Free-to-Play, Digital Ethnography, Circuit of Culture, Game Studies, Ethnographie, ethnography, Online-Kommunikationskanäle, online communication channels, Spielkultur, Kommerzialisierung, commercialization, Freemium-Geschäftsmodelle, Smartphone, Konsole, console, F2P-Spiele, Bezahlmodelle, subscription payment, Abo-Bezahlmodelle, payment, Konsolenentwickler, console developers, Nintendo, Handyspiele, Pokémon, Communitie, Videospiele, Online-Spieleportal, online gaming portal, Gelegenheitsspieler, casual gamer, Spielesession, play session, user, Spielgenre, game genre, Spielstil, gameplay style, Makro-Spielkultur, macro game culture, Game Studies-Forschung, game studies research, Kulturwissenschaften, cultural studies, social, cultural, economic, political, Spielkulturforschung, Game Culture Research, Literatur über Medien-/Spielkulturen, literature concerning media/ game cultures, Unterhaltungskultur, entertainment culture, Goodgame Studios, Spielerhierarchien, player hierarchies, Kaufverhalten, players feeling
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Free-to-play (F2P) games have been recently taking the market by the storm, proving to be both popular among users and developers. Delivering the core experience for free and functional or decorative benefits within the game for a small price (microtransactions), can these games really be labelled free? This research explores the costs involved in playing or taking part in free-to-play game communities through an 18-month virtual ethnography. Using a specific F2P browser game which is developed and published in Germany as a case example, interviews are conducted with professionals from the game company, as well as players of the game to explore the influence the payment model has on the various aspects of the game culture. Utilizing the circuit of culture (du Gay et al., 1997) as a theoretical framework, the research empirically explores all the contexts of the game culture in question, from official and non-official game content production and regulation, to appropriation and identification by members of the culture and the representation of themes within the game and of the game within media and public discourse.