An exploration of cheating in a virtual gaming world

Delia D. Dumitrica*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article looks at the ‘culture of cheating’ within a specific virtual gaming world, Neopets. It argues that this ‘culture of cheating’, informed by a neo-liberal capitalist discourse, has been embedded in the structure of the world. Thus, Neopets promotes an image of wealth as accumulation and as an expression of individual will and effort. Cheating becomes an instrument for personal achievement in a world where access to resources has been designed as unequal. In the case discussed here, socialization within this world may be interpreted as offering users an experience of neo-liberal capitalism that renders inequality as a ‘natural’ consequence of individual choices. What remains hidden is precisely the interweaving of social processes and technical design in constructing this neo-liberal capitalist experience of the world in the first place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 Intellect Ltd.


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