Creating and Sharing Records of Multiplayer Online Game Play: Practices and Attitudes
Keywords:social media, multiplayer online games, intellectual property, content reuse
Online games offer multiple ways for players to interact. Recordings of these interactions are used for a variety of purposes. Such recordings raise ownership issues similar to those arising from the use of other online media. This paper presents an analysis of the attitudes and practices of 241 online gamers, 36% of whom reported recording gameplay and 29% of whom reported watching or accessing records of gameplay. We use a series of scenarios and hypothetical statements to elicit reactions to varying features of the production and use of these records; the parties involved, the type of records, and how they are used may all influence perceived ownership rights. Players are more sensitive to the recording and reuse of in-game textual communication than they are to recordings of avatar activity in the virtual world. Particularly negative reactions were elicited by scenarios that proposed a search capability over players’ textual communication or the reuse of such in-game communication in the software publisher’s advertisements. Additionally, players are skeptical of institutional archiving of such game content, although 50 year embargos on access brought attitudes in line with those for other media.