Show simple item record

Item Description Chen, Mark en_US 2010-11-04T18:05:22Z 2010-11-04T18:05:22Z 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.citation University of Washington theses, College of Education, Ph.D., 2010 en_US
dc.description.abstract Group expertise in socially-situated joint tasks requires successful negotiation and distribution of roles and responsibilities among group members and their material resources such that the group is a network of actors all in alignment on shared tasks. Using ethnographic methods, the author documents the life and death of a player group in the online game World of Warcraft as it engaged in a 40-person activity called raiding, which consisted of highly coordinated battles against difficult game-controlled monsters. The group took 7 months to master an in-game zone known as Molten Core, defeating all of the monsters within, including the last boss monster, Ragnaros. Part of the group’s success depended on its members’ ability to reconfigure their play spaces, enrolling third-party game modifications and external web resources into their activity. Before joining the group, the players had successfully built-up enough social and cultural capital to be recognized as expert players. Once joining the group, however, they had to relearn and adapt their expertise for this new joint task that required them to specialize, taking on different roles depending on the types of characters they chose to play, and structure themselves for efficient communication and coordination practices. They also needed to align themselves to new group goals and learn to trust each other. Thus, once-expert players became novices or noobs to relearn expert or leet gameplay, yet they were not true novices because they had a good understanding of the game system and ways to configure their individual play spaces to be successful players. Rather, they were “leet noobs” who needed to reconfigure and adapt their expertise for new norms of sociomaterial practice suited for joint venture. After 10 months, the group experienced lulls in performance due to a change in membership, and the group disbanded as members were unable to renegotiate and agree upon shared goals and responsibilities. Their network had been irreparably disrupted. Understanding how group success depends on alignment of goals and responsibilities helps us plan for future collaborative endeavors across both formal and informal settings. en_US
dc.format.extent 306 pages en_US
dc.language.iso en-US en_US
dc.publisher University of Washington Graduate School en_US
dc.relation.uri en_US
dc.rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 en_US
dc.subject World of Warcraft en_US
dc.subject Massively multiplayer online role-playing game en_US
dc.subject actor-network theory en_US
dc.subject collaboration en_US
dc.subject cultural capital en_US
dc.subject sociomaterial practice en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Ethnology en_US
dc.title Leet Noobs: Expertise and Collaboration in a World of Warcraft Player Group as Distributed Sociomaterial Practice en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.type.dcmi Text en_US

Item File(s)

Files Size Format View
chen.dissertation.leet_noobs.pdf.pdf 4.754Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record


Advanced Search


My Account