Stephanie Boluk – Welcome to Flatland: Money, Metagames, and Valve’s Digital Economy

By in Lectures on April 20, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015 at 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm

Stephanie Boluk, Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute

Abstract: This talk will describe the concept of metagaming and its relationship to emerging forms of financialization in and around videogames. Focusing specifically on the labor practices of Valve Corporation and its digital distribution marketplace Steam, I will discuss the experimental management structures of Valve, the architecture of its corporate headquarters, and the practices of players, modders, makers, and spectators who contribute to Steam’s digital economies. At Valve, there is no fun, there is no work: only the single measure of productivity linking player and laborer alike in a massively multiplayer money game.


The Speaker

Bio: Stephanie Boluk is an assistant professor teaching in the Graduate Program of Media Studies at Pratt Institute. She is currently co-authoring a book with Patrick LeMieux entitled Metagames: Videogames and the Practice of Play. For more information see



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