SONSTROEM, PATRICK,JED (2012) The Reality of Virtual Realities: An in Depth Glimpse at the Interactions That Occur Within the Online Gaming Communities of World of Warcraft and Continuum. Masters thesis, Durham University.
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Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs or MMOs), now have over 22.5 million active subscriptions, and have become a considerable medium for entertainment and social communities. While a large amount of research has already been done relating to online communities (Turkle 1995; Wilson 2006; Isabella 2007; Meadows 2007; Boellstorff 2008; Williams 2011), this thesis hopes to add new insights into in-game interactions via the use of participant observation through a creative narrative.
This relatively new Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) method has methodological obstacles in ethnography. As the internet changes rapidly, our methods and practices as anthropologists must as well (Hine 2000; Fischer 2008; Faubion 2009). The goal of this research project is to add to the qualitative research on online gaming communities, and to find distinctions between the sub-cultures and behaviours of two distinct games, World of Warcraft and Continuum. Using communication methods used by these groups and real life interaction via CMC, this project identifies important types of social behaviours within the given gaming groups, as well as relating to issues outside of the game. In addition,, the project outlines and updates the methodological processes required to undertake online research in gaming communities, including the use of narrative as a valid research methodology within online communities
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Keywords:||Virtual Reality, World of Warcraft, Internet Research, Online Communities, Online Behaviour|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||08 Apr 2013 10:39|