Hanging out is hard to do : Methodology in non-avatar environments

Woodford, Darryl (2012) Hanging out is hard to do : Methodology in non-avatar environments. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, 4(3), pp. 275-288.

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Ethnography is now a well-established research methodology for virtual environments, and the vast majority of accounts have one aspect in common, whether textual or graphic environments – that of the embodied avatar. In this article, I first discuss the applicability of such a methodology to non-avatar environments such as Eve Online, considering where the methodology works and the issues that arise in its implementation – particularly for the consideration of sub-communities within the virtual environment. Second, I consider what alternative means exist for getting at the information that is obtained through an ethnographic study of the virtual environment. To that end, I consider the practical and ethical implications of utilizing existing accounts, the importance of the meta-game discourse, including those sources outside of the control of the environment developer, and finally the utility in combining personal observations with accounts of other ethnographers, both within and between environments.

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ID Code: 56864
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Virtual Worlds, Design, Methodology, Ethnography
DOI: 10.1386/jgvw.4.3.275_1
ISSN: 1757-1928
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Intellect Ltd
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2013 22:39
Last Modified: 20 May 2013 16:22

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