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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R30R9MB37

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The WoW Factor: A Virtual Ethnographic Study of Sacred Things and Rituals in World of Warcraft Open Access

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Author or creator
Sonja C. Sapach
Additional contributors
Subject/Keyword
Virtual Ethnography
MMORPG
World of Warcraft
Methodology
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Language
English
Place
Time
Description
This paper describes the method of complete participant observation-style virtual ethnography and how it was used to study sacred objects and rituals in the virtual world of Azeroth, from the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft (WoW). Drawing heavily from the work of Hine (2000), Gold (1958), and Durkheim (1912), and utilizing a case study of the author's MA thesis titled The WoW Factor: The Development of Social Solidarity in Azeroth, this paper provides a detailed description of the unique challenges that a researcher must overcome when planning, and carrying out, an ethnographic study in an MMORPG. Key topics of discussion include: ethical considerations and concerns, recording observations through the use of video-capture and screen-shots, the importance of maintaining the proper balance between being an 'insider' and an 'outsider', and spatial and temporal displacement between the virtual and the real.
Date created
May 29, 2015
DOI
doi:10.7939/R30R9MB37
License information
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International
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2016-04-22T10:25:05.964+00:00
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File format: msword (Microsoft Word)
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Last modified: 2016:01:14 11:18:04-07:00
Filename: The WoW Factor A Virtual Ethnographic Study of Sacred Things and Rituals in World of Warcraft.doc
Original checksum: cc405beec0c463cbefa22605ceed3779
File author: Sonja Sapach
Page count: 25
File language: U.S. English
Word count: 6196
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