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Play and Leisure in the Digital World

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Rebecca Auguste

on 2 March 2014

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Transcript of Play and Leisure in the Digital World

Play and Leisure in the Digital World
Play and leisure can be defined as a product of a modern organization of work in the economic , political and social context of industrial capitalism.
League of Legends.
League of Legends is an online computer games in which players battle against each other in order to win points and to work their way up leader boards in order to reach battle finals.
Link between modders and the gaming industry
League of Legends in regards to taste.
"Without the creativity of modders, developers would be hard-pressed
to come up with new ideas, and it would prove hard to implement these ideas in the high-risk gaming market were it not for the huge “test-market” the modding community provides." (Kucklich)

Despite modders usually not having rights over the the modifications they make to the game, it can be said that without these changes the game itself may not be the same.

Taste can be defined as classifying the classifier, meaning that those that have an interest in something can be defined by it. However it can be argued that taste is socially constructed.
Leisure in League of Legends.
In regards to the masses leisure is seen as an integral role of capitalism. This can be applied to League of Legends as the game itself is viewed by those participating as leisure, however the players are partaking in capitalism by playing the game they are generating money for Riot Games (the creators).
Who is participating
What types of engagement are participants displaying?
There are different age groups participating in the league of legends. There are ages from 12+.This is because there are special events where plays can participate and get a reward for it which could help them whilst playing the game.
For the theorist Julian Kucklitch, game modification is a form of playbour. For the players making this content they are doing this for entertainment. However by engaging in this activity of modding it is used by the gaming industry. Despite the modders making content that actually contributes to the game they usually gain no profit or recognition from it and so it can be said are working in the gaming industry free of charge.
The way we see playbour depends on key questions of engagement, subjectivity and agency

League of Legends now sees more than 27 million players everyday (as of Jan 2014)

There are two types of players usually seen on LoL
Casual players
Competitive players

They both display different engagement
such as ...

Here is a screen shot of the League of Legends
community valuing what modders do for the game.
Bourdieu stated " It functions as a sort of social orientation, a ‘sense of one’s place’, guiding the occupants of a given place in social space towards the social positions" (1984:684)
The effects of playbour
Taste In League of Legends.
In regards to League of Legends, taste could be seen by those who are not interested in the game as uninteresting and strange. However, for those interested in and who play the game there is a "sense of ones place" as stated by Bourdieu.

Bourdieu also went on to state that there dominant groups that determine what is valued and what is not.
Social Engagement
Players can chat to people on real time
Add/refer their friends to game
Make new friends
Team work
Professional Engagement
The socio-cultural context

Example of socio-cultural is where League of Legends’ fans gather in big numbers to watch the world championship.

The League of Legends Season 3 World Championship broadcast over Twitch livestream on October 4th was watched by 32 million people, 8.5 million of whom were watching at the same time. The numbers shatter previous records for eSports viewership, and show that video game streams can rival TV in terms of scale and reach.

Professional competitions
Team managers
League of Legends- practice.
Those who play league of legends can get to a certain level, where they are then seen as professional and the game becomes their full time job as they win money in battles. This can link to the theory that the concept of 'fun work' does not exist. As the fun of the game no longer exists to those who play as it becomes their source of income.
What types of agencies do they have?
"whether or not something counts as mere ‘play’ as opposed to work hinges not only on the question of wages but also on the question of agency"

The players themselves decide if they want to play
Most start playing the game purely for their own amusement

However, once they enter the competitive side of LoL, they begin playing with the purposive goal of winning the prize
Some may feel forced to play in order to get the prize


Distinctions. A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Conclusion. 1984, translated by Richard Nice, published by Harvard University Press, 1984, 604pp. – selected from pp. 466-48
Juilian Kucklich Precarious Playbour: Modders and the digital gaming industry
League of Legends has a Forum where members are involved in general discussions about levels, features, content and they also can express the views and opinions about the game.

The topic above is about sexualized females in the game and less female characters in comparison to male characters. In response to the topic, a member explains that the female characters aren't the real perception of female warriors and also that society always look at a female's appearance first. General discussions such as this is a good way for members to express their views and feelings so it is a platform for players to constantly interact with each other.
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