Governance of Digital Game Environments and Cultural Diversity


Governance of Digital Game Environments and Cultural Diversity

Transdisciplinary Enquiries

9781848446830 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Christoph Beat Graber, Faculty of Law, University of Zurich, Switzerland and Mira Burri-Nenova, University of Lucerne, Switzerland
Publication Date: 2010 ISBN: 978 1 84844 683 0 Extent: 304 pp
This innovative book provides transdisciplinary analyses of the nature and dynamics of digital game environments whilst tackling the existing fragmentation of academic research.

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This innovative book provides transdisciplinary analyses of the nature and dynamics of digital game environments whilst tackling the existing fragmentation of academic research.

Digital game environments are of increasing economic, social and cultural value. As their influence on diverse facets of life grows, states have felt compelled to intervene and secure some public interests. Yet, the contours of a comprehensive governance model are far from recognisable and governments are grappling with the complexity and fluidity of online games and virtual worlds as private spaces and as experimentation fields for creativity and innovation. This book contributes to a more comprehensive and fine-grained understanding of digital game environments, which is a precondition for addressing any of the pressing governance questions posed. Particular attention is given to the concept and policy objective of cultural diversity, which also offers a unique entry point into the discussion of the appropriate legal regulation of digital games.

Governance of Digital Game Environments and Cultural Diversity will be of interest to researchers of media law, internet law and governance, cultural studies, anthropology and sociology. As the book addresses a highly topical theme, it will attract the attention of policymakers at national, regional and international levels and will also serve as a great resource tool for scholars in new media and in particular digital games and virtual worlds.
Critical Acclaim
‘This collection of legal, philosophical, economic, and cultural perspectives ultimately makes a strong case for the potential value of game environments for addressing diversity issues, but also raises important concerns regarding implementation of corporate and government policies in this sector – highly recommended for anyone exploring this emerging field.’
– Benjamin T. Duranske, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, US

‘Videogaming is serious business. But the legal and theoretical implications of online and virtual environments are little understood. Professor Graber and Ms. Burri-Nenova have done a masterful job of bringing together several insightful articles that inform us about the business, legal and sociological implications of digital gaming. Innovative, fast-paced, and engaging as games themselves, these scholarly works provide invaluable insight for academics, policy makers and perhaps even participants themselves about the reality behind virtual worlds.’
– Shubha Ghosh, University of Wisconsin Law School, US

‘This is an excellent and path-breaking collection of sharp and carefully researched essays. It provides wonderful insights on numerous important aspects of the complex relationship between play, cultural diversity, communications policy, and the governance of virtual societies. The phenomenal growth of these new digital realms has raised important questions across the academic disciplines, making this book’s interdisciplinary focus extremely helpful to potential regulators and university scholars alike.’
– Greg Lastowka, Rutgers School of law, Camden, US
Contributors: M. Burri-Nenova, C.B. Graber, S. Humphreys, V. Karavas, A. Kerr, S. Misoch, C. Reimsbach-Kounatze, M. Sahlfeld, T. Steiner, S. Wunsch-Vincent


1. Online Games and Virtual Worlds: Business and Policy Developments
Christian Reimsbach-Kounatze and Sacha Wunsch-Vincent

2. Beyond Billiard Balls: Transnational Flows, Cultural Diversity and Digital Games
Aphra Kerr

3. User Created Content in Virtual Worlds and Cultural Diversity
Mira Burri-Nenova

4. The Concept and Conditions of Governance in Massively Multiplayer Online Games
Sal Humphreys

5. Second Life: Game or Play? Sociological Analysis of Avatar Diversity in Second Life
Sabina Misoch

6. Governance of Virtual Worlds and the Quest for a Digital Constitution
Vaios Karavas

7. State Aid for Digital Games and Cultural Diversity: A Critical Reflection in the Light of EU and WTO Law
Christoph Beat Graber

8. The Protection of Minors and its Effect on Cultural Diversity: An Example of Content Regulation in Digital Game Environments
Miriam Sahlfeld

9. Advertising in Digital Games and Cultural Diversity: An EC Media Law Enquiry
Thomas Steiner

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