Virtual property in China: The emergence of gamer rights awareness and the reaction of game corporations

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study focuses on the social formation of game virtual property through analyzing two of its major stakeholders in China: online gamers and game corporations. Based on analysis of the opinions, stakes, and demands of the Chinese gamers, I argue that they are developing an incipient 'gamer rights' awareness composed of gamers' entitlements to virtual property ownership as well as to virtual property rights protection by the state and game publishers. Based on analysis of the stakes and strategic actions of Chinese game publishers, I show that these corporations promulgate a self-serving version of gamer rights protection campaigns and pass the social responsibility of virtual property governance to the state. This study's findings provide empirical evidence to support theoretical and legal recognition of virtual property, government involvement in virtual-world governance, and the 'right to play' critique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-738
Number of pages17
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese online games
  • game publishers
  • gamer rights
  • MMOG
  • real-money trade
  • virtual property
  • virtual-world governance


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