It's not a game: a dramaturgical analysis of an illicit online consumption community

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Bahl, Navin
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Using a sociocultural approach, we explore an illicit consumption community online. There are several thriving consumption communities that exist online that exchange illicit commodities without scrutiny from regulatory structures. Despite the large sums of money spent on this practice and the potential problems associated with illicit commoditizing, the online environment remains loosely regulated. A netnography of one such community, online poker players, is the central focus of this research. We propose a dramaturgical model that explains the macro-environmental factors of illicit consumption communities and the individual motives of online poker players. The online poker forum selected for this study is vibrant, rich with data and frequented often by online poker community members. By examining discussions held within this online community, we uncover insights on the illicit consumption of online poker players and their motives. We explore these varying factors and motives and discuss the public policy implications of our findings.
consumer, poker, netnography, gambling, community