Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||The Duty To 'Play': Ethics, EULAs and MMOs|
|Author:||de Zwart, M.|
|Citation:||International Journal of Internet Research Ethics, 2010; 3(12):48-68|
|Publisher:||International Journal of Internest Research Ethics|
|Ren Reynolds and Melissa de Zwart|
|Abstract:||In the last ten years, there has been a steady increase in the attention paid to Massively Multiplayer Online Role Play Games (MMOs) as a site of academic research. A number of large and influential academic studies have been undertaken in a range of disciplines inside MMOs such as EverQuest (Taylor, 2006), Star Wars Galaxies (Ducheneaut & Moore, 2004), Lineage I and II (Steinkeuhler, 2004) and EverQuestII (Castronova et al, 2009). Generally, these studies require the researcher to be embedded in-world, participating as a player in the game. In this paper, we ask: what bounds on research, if any, are ostensibly set by the contractual terms of service of MMOs by which all participants are bound—in particular the duty to "play"; whether this has any problematic bearing on the practice of research; and, if so, whether there are solutions to these problems? This paper will consider the contractual terms used in the End User Licence Agreements (EULAs) of two MMOs, EvE Online and City of Heroes, in order to further explore the practical implications of those terms. This paper concludes that researchers need to consider whether their research is ethical, both in terms of formal compliance with Institutional Research Board (IRB) requirements and how it may impact upon or disrupt the player community. If it does have a disruptive impact, this may take the research not only outside the notion of ethical research, but also outside of the concept of "play" authorised by the EULA itself.|
|Rights:||© Copyright Ren Reynolds and Melissa de Zwart.|
|Appears in Collections:||Law publications|
Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.