Main Article Content
A case study of a World of Warcraft guild explores the relationship between participatory surveillance, public discipline, empowerment, and fun. The guild under investigation in this paper is a self-labeled "safe space" guild for female, LGBT, and other minority members of the gaming population. To promote the safe space environment, the guild's members actively enforce prohibitions against offensive language. A comparison is made between the participatory surveillance model employed by the members of the guild and the top-down policies and discipline enacted by the parent company, Blizzard Entertainment; this comparison demonstrates the effects of co-existing models of surveillance in the game community. Furthermore, the effects of the guild's practice of public discipline of rule breakers are analyzed as a method of shaming that enhances the effects of the guild's rules. Finally, by examining reactions from members of the guild, personal and community empowerment are the outcomes of participation in the system. Recommendations are made to incorporate elements of participatory surveillance into games in conjunction with unilateral surveillance typically employed by game developers.
How to Cite
COLLISTER, Lauren B.. Surveillance and Community: Language Policing and Empowerment in a World of Warcraft Guild. Surveillance & Society, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 3, p. 337-348, june 2014. ISSN 1477-7487. Available at: <https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/surveillance-and-society/article/view/warcraft>. Date accessed: 19 oct. 2017.
Participatory Surveillance; Digital Gaming; World of Warcraft; Empowerment; New Technologies
Surveillance & Society uses a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
- The author. The author licenses the article to the Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) for inclusion in Surveillance & Society (S&S), right of first publication. The copyright to the article remains with the author and any subsequent commercial reuse must be agreed by both parties.
- Non-commercial Users. SSN authorises all persons to use material published in S&S in any manner that is not primarily intended for or directed to commerical advantage or private monetary compensation, also provided that it is not modified and retains all attribution notices.
- Commercial Users. SSN retains the right to benefit from commerical reuse, in each specific case subject to the agreement of the author, and payment to SSN of a standard per-page fee (set by a vote of the Network and Editorial Board) by the Commercial User.
- Surveillance & Society supports open access archives and the free distribution of the results of academic work. Authors are encouraged to place copies of the final published version of their article in their university and / or other open access archives. We only ask that you make sure to include a link to the original published version on the Surveillance & Society website.