This book explores gaming culture, focusing on competent players and excessive use. Addressing the contested question of whether addiction is possible in relation to computer games - specifically online gaming - A World of Excesses demonstrates that excessive playing does not necessarily have detrimental effects, and that there are important contextual elements that influence what consequences playing has for the players. Based on new empirical studies, including in-depth interviews and virtual ethnography, and drawing on material from international game related sites, this book examines the reasons for which gaming can occupy such a central place in people's lives, to the point of excess. As such, it will be of interest to sociologists and psychologists working in the fields of cultural and media studies, the sociology of leisure, information technology and addiction.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Game genre, case and empirical material; Media narratives and public concerns; Addiction and randomness; Game structure and loyalty programmes; Pathological gaming and social context; Theorycrafting: between collective intelligence and intrinsic satisfaction; Life phase and meaningful play; Appendices; References; Index.
’A World of Excesses is a fascinating, and important, contribution to the ongoing work of understanding digital play. By looking at the nature of excessive use, but with a sharp eye on context and structure in MMO's, Dr. Karlsen provides a nuanced analysis of what is typically chalked up to "addiction." This book offers an important intervention against overly simplistic theories about intensive gaming.’ T.L. Taylor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA ’Faltin Karlsen steps into contested territory as he tackles the discussions concerning the supposedly addictive quality of digital games. A World of Excesses is perhaps the most level-headed and clear discussion to date of excessive gaming. It gives the reader a very good handle on this difficult topic, and is a valuable contribution to the debate.’ Torill Mortensen, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark '... Karlsen’s analysis adds significantly to the gaming studies field and the discussion of gaming addiction by providing contextualised information about gaming excesses. It sheds a critical light on the medicalisation of gaming problems and diagnostic issues, without disregarding the fact that for some players, excessive gaming is detrimental. This is a book for technosceptics and game aficionados alike - and it made me want to start playing World of Warcraft again.' Times Higher Education