Book review of Van der Graaf, S. (2018). ComMODify: User creativity at the intersection of commerce and community. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ana Jorge


This book by Shenja Van der Graaf offers a detailed study to investigate user participation in a platform of the software industry, crucially a “firm-hosted platform that thrives on user participation and creativity” (p. 16). The author, currently a Senior Researcher at imec-SMIT of Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, seeks to address the gap in existing scholarship on user-participation which “has tended to be based frequently on intuitive claims about user participation” (p. 9). The research focuses on modding, an abbreviation for the practice of modifying a game by a developer. In looking at Second Life as the main case, this work “tells a story of content creation, connectivity and commodification between the developer firm and user communities indicative of tensions such as those about exploitation and privacy we are currently facing online associated with the transition from user-based to market-based platforms like Facebook” (p. 3).

Full Text:



License URL: