“Don't clone my indie game, bro”: Informal cultures of videogame regulation in the independent sector

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Abstract

In the contemporary games sector, independent developers feel there is an inadequate level of protection for their intellectual property, particularly with regards to game clones. There is also a sense that neither players nor policy-makers completely understand the specificities of how IP may be creatively, if not legally infringed. As a result, there has increasingly been a shift towards the construction of a culture of self-regulation for indie developers, attempting to publicly shame cloners via social media, directly impacting infringers' reputation and sales and bypassing formal regulation.This article uses interviews and workshop discussions with developers to examine the manner in which this informal culture of regulation has been perpetuated in relation to current videogame copyright legislation, and suggests how the interrelation between producers and policy-makers may help to inform the direction of future policy decisions. Examining the way appropriate practice is informally managed in independent gaming, the article considers the soundness of policy in the contemporary videogames industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalCultural Trends
Volume24
Issue number2
Early online date7 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • videogames
  • copyright
  • policy
  • community
  • creativity

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