Emergent Authorship: Player as Co-Creator by Celia Pearce on interactive computer games – especially massive multiplayer online games and “God-games”.
From a cultural perspective, the ramifications of these new forms of entertainment is nothing short of revolutionary. Through these experiences, the consumer is thus transformed into consumer/producer and consumption itself becomes an act of production. Where previously there was a clear boundary between producer and consumer of content, this boundary continues to become more blurry. The role of the “author” in this context is, rather than creating content, to create context. This then invites the audience create or co-create the content, in essence, to entertain each other with their unique way of “playing the story.” Karl Marx said “seize the means of production.” What is interesting here is that not that users are seizing the means of production, but that in a sense, capitalism has found a sort of compromise in the production/consumption hybrid.
Published in a more polished form in: Celia Pearce, “Emergent authorship: the next interactive revolution”, Computers & Graphics, Volume 26, Issue 1, February 2002, Pages 21-29.