Objects of Desire - A Reading of the Reward System in World of Warcraft

Lasse Juel Larsen


This article presents a reading of the reward structure in World of Warcraft (WoW) that draws upon Jacques Derrida’s philosophy, especially his notion of différance. In the reading, rewards are regarded as signs, based on Charles. S. Peirce’s semiotic theory, where the triadic model of the sign is considered to be embedded in infinite semiosis. The dominant analytical perspective is player-centric. Based on a combination of Peirce’s semiotics and Derrida’s philosophy of différance, this article intends to investigate the implicit and explicit correlation between différance, desire and game structure in WoW. Furthermore, it studies how connections between rewards as sign, signs as objects of desire and the paradox of desire create a complex reward structure and multilayered vortex in which players easily lose themselves. The articles point of departure is a scene from classic WoW. It constitutes the principal material used in the analysis


reward, différance, desire, player, game, World of Warcraft

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