• The Discourse of Digital Dispossession: Paid Modifications and Community Crisis on Steam

    Author(s):
    Daniel Joseph (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Subject(s):
    Communication studies, Cultural studies, Digital labor, Discourse analysis, Game studies, Marxism, Political economy
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    digital distribution, platform studies, Steam
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/4d6w-0y48
    Abstract:
    This article is a chronicle and analysis of a community crisis in digital space that took place on Valve Corporation’s digital distribution platform, Steam. When Valve and Bethesda (publisher and developer of Skyrim) decided to allow mods to be sold by mod makers themselves, there ensued a community revolt against the commodification of leisure and play. I put this crisis of play and work in dialogue with Harvey’s concept of “accumulation by dispossession,” firmly placing it within a longer history of disruptive capital accumulation strategies. I then conduct a discourse analysis of community members on reddit, as they make sense of and come to terms with this process of dispossession. Arising in the discourse was not class consciousness per se, but instead a pervasive feeling of helplessness and frustration as games, play, and leisure began to feel like work.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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