Facets of Virtual Environments. First International Conference, FaVE 2009, Berlin, Germany, July 27-29, 2009, Revised Selected Papers

Research Article

Investigating the Concept of Consumers as Producers in Virtual Worlds: Looking through Social, Technical, Economic, and Legal Lenses

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-642-11743-5_15,
        author={Holger Kienle and Andreas Lober and Crina Vasiliu and Hausi M\'{y}ller},
        title={Investigating the Concept of Consumers as Producers in Virtual Worlds: Looking through Social, Technical, Economic, and Legal Lenses},
        proceedings={Facets of Virtual Environments. First International Conference, FaVE 2009, Berlin, Germany, July 27-29, 2009, Revised Selected Papers},
        proceedings_a={FAVE},
        year={2012},
        month={5},
        keywords={consumers as producers prosumer crowdsourcing virtual worlds emergent behavior architecture},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-642-11743-5_15}
    }
    
  • Holger Kienle
    Andreas Lober
    Crina Vasiliu
    Hausi Müller
    Year: 2012
    Investigating the Concept of Consumers as Producers in Virtual Worlds: Looking through Social, Technical, Economic, and Legal Lenses
    FAVE
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-11743-5_15
Holger Kienle1,*, Andreas Lober2,*, Crina Vasiliu3,*, Hausi Müller1,*
  • 1: University of Victoria
  • 2: RAe Schulte Riesenkampff, Frankfurt am Main
  • 3: University of Victoria MBA Alumni
*Contact email: kienle@cs.uvic.ca, alober@schulte-lawyers.de, crina.vasiliu@alumni.uvic.ca, hausi@cs.uvic.ca

Abstract

Virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life enable consumers as producers, that is users can choose to be passive consumers of content, active producers of content, or both. Consumers as producers poses unique challenges and opportunities for both operators and users of virtual worlds. While the degrees of freedom for user-generated content differ depending on the world, instances of consumers as producers can be found in many virtual worlds. In this paper we characterize consumers as producers with the help of four “lenses”—social, technical, economic, and legal—and use the lenses to discuss implications for operators and users. These lenses provide a complementary analysis of consumers as producers from different angels and shows that an understanding of it requires a holistic approach.