In a marketplace that demands perpetual upgrades, the survival of interactive play ultimately depends on the adroit management of negotiations between game producers and youthful consumers of this new medium. The authors suggest a model of expansion that encompasses technological innovation, game design, and marketing practices. Their case study of video gaming exposes fundamental tensions between the opposing forces of continuity and change in the information economy: between the play culture of gaming and the spectator culture of television, the dynamism of interactive media and the increasingly homogeneous mass-mediated cultural marketplace, and emerging flexible post-Fordist management strategies and the surviving techniques of mass-mediated marketing. Digital Play suggests a future not of democratizing wired capitalism but instead of continuing tensions between "access to" and "enclosure in" technological innovation, between inertia and diversity in popular culture markets, and between commodification and free play in the cultural industries.
About the authors
School of Communication, Simon Fraser University
Nick Dyer-Witheford is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism, and co-author of Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing and Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games.
Greig de Peuter is a doctoral candidate in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University.