Stepping out of the magic circle : Regulation of play/life boundary in mmo-mediated romantic relationship

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-264
Journal / PublicationJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMOs) are spaces of socialization and relationship formation and maintenance. This qualitative study seeks to understand how MMO players delineate the boundary between play and life when it comes to their game-originated romance. A typology of players was devised to understand players' constructions of boundaries, and players' strategies against perceived stigma when moving their relationship offline were discussed. The findings call for a shift towards a more player-centric and pluralist conceptualization of the magic circle of play. © 2013 International Communication Association.

Research Area(s)

  • Magic circle, Mediated interpersonal relationship, MMO, Online games, Romantic relationship, Stigma