In media and cultural studies heavy gamers are sometimes treated as subversive consumers, able to resist commercial practices enrolled by developers. Gamers are viewed as not belonging to the passively consuming mass. We can observe a constant tension between gamers and developer studios which try to sell games as if gamers would buy everything that is being served to them. The aim of the paper is to show the resistance of gamers when it comes to micropayment and selling game packs which are supposed to enrich gamers experiences and make the game easier. These packs are much more expensive than the basic game and very often result in a huge disappointments of gamers. The example used in the paper is Fifa Ultimate Team (FUT) – a game developed by EA which is a part of FIFA series. FUT is very often criticized when it comes to micropayment and game mechanics strengthening the need to buy packs. This research demonstrates this by analyzing several online FUT fans communities. By the means of in-depth Interviews, analyzing threads on communities and mechanics of the game, the paper proves that FUT gamers are in a way “opposing” developers. The research is an example of how gamers are appropriating media products for their own purposes – they create their own meanings, transform, and adapt games to their own needs. This has a democratizing effect on game consumers in general.
Gamers, Prosumption, Game studies, Fan communities
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Assistant professor, Department of sociology, Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland