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New Frontier of Guanxi: Online Gaming Practices in China

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: Economic activities in and around online gaming in China are often associated in the West with images of gold farming, or selling in-game currency to players for real money in online games. What can we learn about online gaming in China and about online gaming and online sociality more broadly when we look at economic and other "pragmatic " practices through which online gaming becomes meaningful for leisure players? In this paper, we present findings from an ethnographic study of online gaming in China to discuss implications for game design, and HCI design more broadly. Considering the ties between socio-economic practices, development of trust and culturally situated imaginings of self-hood and otherness, brings to the fore how online games in and of themselves constitute the means for practical achievements in day-to-day management of guanxi (social connection).

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