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Item Description Golub, Alex en_US 2010-10-27T22:59:35Z 2010-10-27T22:59:35Z 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Anthropological Quarterly 83(1):17-46 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0003-5491 en_US
dc.description.abstract This paper discusses two main claims made about virtual worlds: first, that people become “immersed” in virtual worlds because of their sensorial realism, and second, because virtual worlds appear to be “places” they can be studied without reference to the lives that their inhabitants live in the actual world. This paper argues against both of these claims by using data from an ethnographic study of knowledge production in World of Warcraft. First, these data demonstrate that highly-committed (“immersed”) players of World of Warcraft make their interfaces less sensorially realistic (rather than more so) in order to obtain useable knowledge about the game world. In this case, immersion and sensorial realism may be inversely correlated. Second, their commitment to the game leads them to engage in knowledge-making activities outside of it. Drawing loosely on phenomenology and contemporary theorizations of Oceania, I argue that what makes games truly “real” for players is the extent to which they create collective projects of action that people care about, not their imitation of sensorial qualia. Additionally, I argue that while purely in- game research is methodologically legitimate, a full account of member’s lives must study the articulation of in-game and out-of-game worlds and trace people’s engagement with virtual worlds across multiple domains, some virtual and some actual. en_US
dc.format.extent 20 pages en_US
dc.language.iso en-US en_US
dc.publisher Institute for Ethnographic Research en_US
dc.relation.uri DOI: 10.1353/anq.0.0110 en_US
dc.subject knowledge production en_US
dc.subject phenomenology en_US
dc.subject virtual worlds en_US
dc.subject World of Warcraft en_US
dc.subject Second Life en_US
dc.subject video games en_US
dc.subject raiding en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Ethnology en_US
dc.title Being in the World (of Warcraft): Raiding, Realism, and Knowledge Production in a Massively Multiplayer Online Game en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.type.dcmi Text en_US

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