In 2010, the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worldspublished my extensive review of Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft Reader, edited by Hilde G. Corneliussen and Jill Walker Rettberg.
FERGUSON, R. 2010. A world of possibilities: review of ‘Digital culture, play and identity’. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, 2, 194-198.
If a canon of digital culture is to be identified, then it is important that games and worlds be contextualized and compared. As Taylor writes: ‘now we have a fair number of studies that have focused on a very small number of MMOGs, through which we are beginning to get an implied generalized theory of online games. I want to propose caution and case study diversity before we too quickly settle on the meaning of these game worlds and the processes that occur in them’ (p188).
This book plays an important role in establishing the relevance and importance of World of Warcraft. Unlike many books relating to virtual worlds and games, it is not a lightweight text to be skim read. It will shift most readers out of their comfort zone, exposing them to previously unconsidered theories and methodologies. However, the time required to read it carefully is time well spent, for it leaves the reader knowing more not only about the World of Warcraft, but also about our world as a whole.