Communities of Play:
Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds
by Celia Pearce and Artemesia
Forewords by Tom Boellstorff and Bonnie A. Nardi
Available from The MIT Press and

"[Celia Pearce's] background as a games designer is evident in the way
she respectfully engages readers in clear, vivid prose structured in an
original and—can we say it?—entertaining way. From its thoughtful
analyses of play and community to its authoritative contextualization of
games and virtual worlds, this book repays study on many levels. Enjoy!"
—from the foreword by Bonnie Nardi

"Celia Pearce takes us beyond the novelty and spectacle of online
virtual environments by combining penetrating ethnographic observation
with the discerning eye of a richly creative designer. Communities of
Play is a compelling guide to the lived experience of virtual worlds and
to the design strategies that can support or thwart community by
affording or restricting expressive play."
—Janet H. Murray, Dean's Recognition Professor, Director of
Graduate Studies, School of Literature, Communication, and Culture,
author of Hamlet on the Holodeck

"Communities of Play is a rich and thoughtful study that gives us a rare
peek into something seldom discussed in online spaces—what happens
when the site you love closes down. Celia Pearce provides fascinating
insights as she traces these virtual communities, making a journey ac-
ross a variety of software platforms, collaborating to rebuild play spaces,
and keeping groups together. This is a unique and valuable contribution to
not only the study of multiplayer worlds, but network life in general."
—T.L. Taylor, Associate Professor, IT University of Copenhagen

For more on the work of Celia Pearce, visit