Racialization of Labor in World of Warcraft

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Essay: “Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game: The Racialization of Labor in World of Warcraft“ By Lisa Nakamura. In: Critical Studies in Media Communication (May 2009)

URL = http://sites.google.com/site/theresearchsiteforlisanakamura/Home/csmcfinal.pdf


The author writes on the IDC mailing list:

“I’m hoping to develop it into a longer piece. It’s about the racialization of labor in World of Warcraft, and how Chinese worker-players make and sell gold to leisure players who are too busy to earn in-game money for themselves. This chapter has been extraordinarily unpopular among most games scholars and game players, who are after all fans at heart and don’t like to hear criticisms of their game. The rhetoric of merit, equality, and “play” that pervades games studies is challenged by the rapid growth of grey market economies, predominantly sustained by emiserated workers who play for 12-hour stretches in “workshop” conditions in mainland China.”