“All the world’s a stage” — Legal and cultural reflections on the surveillance of online games

Burkhard Schafer, Wiebke Abel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

One of the more unusual revelations of the Snowden leaks was the discovery that UK and US security services had also targeted popular online gaming platforms for surveillance activity. While the British press had a field day coming up with creative headlines about “undercover Orcs”, public reaction was muted. Anger about “wasting taxpayer’s money” more than privacy concerns dominated the debate. But can we really dismiss surveillance of gaming as “not quite serious”? Using insights from psychology, anthropology and cultural studies, we argue that on the contrary, surveillance of people at play can be seen as a paradigmatic illustration of the dangers of the surveillance society, and give us insights in the values privacy law ought to protect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-600
JournalDatenschutz und Datensicherheit
Volume38
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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