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Virtual/Online/Digital Ethnographic Methods

Guest Lecture - October 30, 2012

Alicia Hibbert

on 31 October 2012

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Transcript of Virtual/Online/Digital Ethnographic Methods

Research Question Research questions for World of Warcraft endgame players study:

What is “fair” exchange in-game and how does this transcend the dichotomy of work vs. play?

How do in-game currencies permeate the offline world?

What kinds of constraints are placed on players by game developers? Getting Initial Approval Traditional anthropological theory as basis

Tone: avoid making the project sound more serious than it is

Maintain a high level of reflexivity
How do you play into the social behaviours of your online community?

Draw clear boundaries
Level 80 Human Paladin, Healer, Normal PVE server - Runetotem Key Skills Adaptability
Innovation Ethics and Consent Interview guide (Semi-Structured approach)
Pseudonyms of Pseudonyms
Dealing with minors
Public versus Private chat
For more info: http://aoir.org/documents/ethics-guide/ Data Collection Ethnographic Interview Data

Chat logs - instantly transcribed interviews

Audio recordings
Setup server as a private audio chat room (Ex: Ventrilo, Mumble, TeamSpeak)
Special audio programs to record Line In AND Line Out (Ex: Audacity)
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ Analysis and Conclusions Microsoft Excel to consolidate responses

There is room for quantitative data in online studies

Change with your changing online community Alicia Hibbert, University of Alberta
ahibbert@ualberta.ca Virtual/Online/Digital Methods ...Or, I Swear This is Important Work Data Collection and Analysis Participant Observation Data
Screenshots as photography "in the field"
Print Screen and open image in free software editing program:
Paint.NET (http://www.getpaint.net/)
GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/)
Screencasts as video "in the field"
Record screen while the online environment of study is open
CamStudio (http://camstudio.org/)
Jing Research Experience Current Research Thesis Research Focus
Group Methods Research
Project Manager World
Warcraft Ethnography 3:45-7:10 7:00-8:52 4:42-5:55 Why are Online Studies Important? Billions of people conducting part of their lives online
Games: World of Warcraft had over 11 million subscribers in 2008
Social Media: Facebook is reported to have 1 billion users as of Oct 2012
Online communities represent voluntary societies
We can ask questions about the kind of "work" that occurs in online communities - work that people choose to do Geography
Social Institutions
Community Change
Full transcript