11-1 | Editor's Note

Editor's Note

Welcome to the American Journal of Play special issue on redefining work and play, another in our series of themed issues we publish from time to time. Each issue focuses on important topics in the fast-developing study of play. Each is guest edited by distinguished experts and includes work by the leading researchers and thinkers on the topic. Our guest editors sociologists J. Talmadge Wright and David G. Embrick have assembled a series of articles that challenge definitions and seek alternative interpretations and categorizations of work and play. Wright begins the issue with an article that introduces a new model of play based on accomplishments and human expression that could resolve perceived binaries of work and play. Christine Payne argues for expanding the sphere of play to include considerations of desire, consumption, work sharing, talents, and interests. Michael J. Roberts makes a case for an interpretation of work and play that emphasizes a separation of work from play. Ken S. McAllister and Judd Ethan Ruggill explore the concept and consequences of electronic game death. In an excerpt from T. L. Taylor’s book Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming, the author discusses some of the work game live streamers undertake to convert their private play into public entertainment. And Wright and Embrick close the issue with an examination of the emotional work of players of the massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft and their families and how these players negotiate both conflict and cooperation between family members in their off-line and online lives. Together these articles explore the interrelationships between work and play and the ways in which work and play have changed, particularly in the age of neoliberal capitalism.