Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Shop Now HTL
Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262512626
ISBN-10: 0262512629
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$10.07 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$13.85 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
26 New from $6.88 24 Used from $4.30 1 Collectible from $9.95
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

$13.85 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture
  • +
  • The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us—And How They Don't
  • +
  • Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
Total price: $48.87
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Refuting the idea that playing video games is an act of isolation undertaken by teenaged boys in dark basement rooms, Taylor presents the world of online gaming as a thriving social scene where players create friendships that transcend the digital domain. In playing EverQuest, (an MMOG, or massively multiplayer online game), Taylor travels through the digital fantasyland, slays other players, builds up her character's inventory and skills and, most importantly, shows how playing creates a huge network of people, many of whom take an almost job-like approach to gaming. She even meets up with fellow gamers and notes how "Recounting fights is a common topic of conversation among players." Also insightful are her thoughts on women and gaming, an underreported topic to which she dedicates a chapter. Taylor is, however, an academic, and tends to make simple concepts overcomplicated. So, sentences like: "There is no culture, there is no game, without the labor of the players. Whether designers want to acknowledge it fully or not, MMOGs already are participatory spaces (if only partially realized) by their very nature as social and cultural spaces" are far from uncommon. Save the moments of impenetrable jargon, Taylor's immersion into the online gaming world is a fascinating one that proves video games aren't just for the geeky neighbor kid anymore.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A fascinating peek into the formal and social architecture that undergirds and shapes the cultural phenomena that is EverQuest.

(Jane C. Park New Media and Society)

Reading Play Between Worlds is anything but grinding. Taylor has long been one of the most nuanced scholars of life in the massively multiplayer game world, someone who knows her orc from her dark elves, who understands the complex intertwining of online and offline identities, and who has interesting things to teach us about the ethics of power gaming. At the same time, she is someone who asks big questions about the relationship between work and play, about the debates surrounding gender and games, and about issues of online governance and intellectual property which will shape the future interactions between gamers and game companies. Each of the book's chapters could be read and taught on its own terms; taken as a whole, they add up to a vivid picture of a world where many of us are spending lots of time these days.

(Henry Jenkins , Director of Comparative Media Studies, MIT)

An articulate and thoroughly researched work, Play Between Worlds is an intriguing look behind the curtain of the world's hottest entertainment phenomenon: virtual-world gaming. Unlike other academics who merely play tourist in these games, Taylor spent four years in one world and became part of the community. You get to reap the benefits of her close association with the people who make these worlds exciting: the players.

(Jessica Mulligan, coauthor of Developing Online Games: An Insider's Guide)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (February 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262512629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262512626
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

T.L. Taylor is Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT.

Dr. Taylor is a qualitative sociologist working in the fields of internet and game studies. Her work focuses on the interrelation between culture, social practice, and technology in online leisure environments. She has spoken and written on topics such as network play and social life, values in design, intellectual property, co-creative practices, avatars, and gender & gaming.

Full information about her work can be found at her website -

[Photo credit: Bryce Vickmark,]

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Tresca VINE VOICE on March 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Author T. L. Taylor is an academic with MUD and MMORPG experience. This is important, because Taylor examines how real life and gaming interact in Play Between Worlds, using EverQuest as her primary source. Through interviews with players and her own experience, Taylor fleshes out what it means to "live" in EverQuest and outside of it, identifying a gaming culture that permeates both membranes. In some cases, there's not much of a membrane at all, as when EverQuest players dress up as their characters at gaming conventions.

Taylor's book is filled with gaming jargon with little explanation. This book is written for people who understand MMORPGs and EverQuest in particular, which unfortunately limits its audience somewhat. That's a shame, because buried in the exposition of gnomes and necromancers are some important revelations.

A large section of the book is devoted to gender issues. Taylor's female gender matters, both in her approach to EverQuest and the roles she chooses to play within it. The hypersexualization of female characters is a real problem in fantasy gaming and it's what led Taylor to pick the unsexy gnome racial archetype.

Taylor also defends "roll-players." She rails against the stereotype of Achiever-style players as incompetent, unintelligent, and aggressive. Taylor takes pains to show how this archetype is unfounded and that achievers are actually highly competent, organized, and bright. What Taylor doesn't address is that this play style is destructive to other play styles. It's not that achievement-oriented players are bad for games - indeed, Taylor stresses that they actually improve games by breaking them - but that other less goal-oriented players are driven away by their dominance.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Empyreal on November 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In her book on the MMO gaming world, Taylor brings an ethnographic approach to the game Everquest. Through interviews and personal experience, she gives an insight into the gaming world that portrays it for the rich, complex, social world that it is. A gamer herself, Taylor does an excellent job shining new light on the "frowned upon" gaming world. She also goes beyond the gaming world to show how things are connected through the internet and "in real life" to things within the game.

As far as this being too "basic" in covering the genre - this wasn't aimed to be a book only for advanced gamers. For those of the academic world, who have no experience whatsoever with games, the chapters provide sufficient information about the games to allow understanding. The summary/analysis is as comprehensive as it is rich. There are parts that she could have gone further and I do hope she does write a second book (although she does have articles on this topic as well).

All in all, this is an absolutely fantastic book for academics (or just interested people) who want an ethnographic approach to the gaming world that treats it not as a deviant, subersive "alternate" reality. Gamers and academics alike can appreciate it. Think Jenkins' Textual Poachers (written about the fan world) for gamers.

I sincerely hope this is the tip of the iceberg for this serious academic research into the community, social aspects of MMOs.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Lee on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the non-academic: a well-written, detailed accounting of a digital world, giving the reader a strong grasp of the unique culture and sensibilities. Taylor helps illustrate where the real and the virtual connect and where they stay distinct, as well as raising up potential issues while arguing away others.

For the academic: shallow, meandering, without really any big argument - pure ethnography. If you play games, you already know all this and have likely read books/articles that attack the subject better. If you don't, you should probably ask a student or a professor who does and they'll steer you in a better direction.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Nelson on August 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I would term the first few chapters of this book to be MMOs for dummies. They were fairly redundant filled with the basics of the genre. I realize that to a certain extent she had to write about this sort of stuff to ground the book for non-genre players, it went on for a little to long I think. If you took away the stuff that explained how the genre worked, this book may very well have been about 75 pages.

Once you got past this point, the book was fairly good. I especially like Taylor's insight into the ownership rights in online games as I think this subject is currently of major concern to players. The women in MMO section was also fairly good, but again fairly redundant at the same time.

I would like to point out that Taylor is a woman and not a man as a previous reviewer implies. A point she makes quite clear early in the book, and a point which I do think offers a fresh perspective on the genre considering much of what has already been written has come from a male-centric point of view.

Overall, the read is pretty good. I think it would work best for those who are not familiar with online gaming, and maybe even someone who hasn't yet started really reading material on the culture of online gaming. As someone who has both been an MMO gamer for over a decade and someone who has read a number of theories and books on the genre I didn't really feel that this book brought much new to the table which was too bad.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture
This item: Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture
Price: $13.85
Ships from and sold by