videogamestudies

cultural difference on intercultural persistent state worlds Alan Meades, a Masters-degree (Electronic Arts) student at Middlesex University (UK) does post-graduate research in cyberanthropology: “This study aims to verify if players originating from geographically and culturally different backgrounds exhibit different game preferences, and therefore behaviour within Massively Multiplayer Online games. This study focuses specifically on Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XI because of the design of the server infrastructure, and the resultant feature that each server is shared with people from many cultures and nations. […]“ On his website Alan hosts an according online-survey, both in English and Japanese language! When I hit … Continue reading

Share

the social net

understanding human behavior in cyberspace A new book has been published, which promises to compare the online and the offline worlds, to examine how social behaviour differs in cyberspace, to bring together research never before brought together, and to provide a comprehensive and unique volume on Internet psychology. Only the publisher’s final claim: “Invaluable information for anyone doing businesss on the Internet”, makes me wonder if it is valuable for those doing research online, too. AMICHAI-HAMBURGER, YAIR (ed.). 2005. The social net: Understanding human behavior in cyberspace. Oxford: Oxford University Press. official description: “In cyberspace we see examples of the … Continue reading

Share

my ‘cyberanthropology’ workshop at the GAA conference

I just got notice that my proposal for a workshop ‘Cyberanthropology’ at the Conference of the German Anthropological Association (GAA aka DGV) – Halle / Saale, 4th – 7th October 2005 has been accepted, and that I am organizing it. Here is the first version of my description of the workshop: In the widest sense ‘cyberanthropology’ means the branch of sociocultural anthropology which aims to understand the culturally informed interrelationships between human beings and those technological artefacts which can be imagined and described as cybernetic systems. This interrelationships decidedly include the attempts to fuse technological artefacts with human and other … Continue reading

Share

anthropologists on instant messaging

Susan D. Blum of the University of Notre Dame has taught a class in anthropology on Instant Messaging: “Teaching an upper-division undergraduate class on linguistic anthropology, “Doing Things with Words,” at the University of Notre Dame, nothing got my students so excited—not gossip, not gender, maybe accent—as the topic of Instant Messaging. This I learned when my students and I decided to study Instant Messaging as a form of student communication.” Read Susan’s paper on the class: Buzzing and Writing the Day Away Instant Messaging, and the paper which resulted from the class: Instant Messaging: Functions of a New Communicative … Continue reading

Share

popular ethnographies

Alex Golub just recently wrote: “A week or so ago I asked the question “what are the most popular ethnographies today that give you a sense of where the field is going, or at least what is popular right now?” With the help of a few friends, some commentors, a very large gin and tonic, and the internet, I came up with a few names I had never (or only vaguely) heard of before. Let me know if this makes sense or seems completely off to you.” Check out his Popular Ethnographies weblog-entry to get up-to-date. And don’t miss the … Continue reading

Share

website online

Finally the website of my ‘cyberanthropological’ research-project “maxmod” has seen the light of day ( URI: http://xirdal.lmu.de )—its twin, the accompanying weblog will follow soon. Since 2002 when I started to develope this project I am doing ‘thick participation’ in an online-community. The core-interest and shared practice of the community’s members is the modification of professional computergame software — “Max Payne” and “Max Payne 2” in particular. Have a look at the abstract and the description of the project (work in progress) if you want to learn more about it—how it’s done, what are the goals, what is the relevance, … Continue reading

Share

games without frontiers

games without frontiers by Aki Järvinen accompanies the Ph.D.-thesis he is working on: Games without frontiers: Theories and methods for game studies. Aki Järvinen’s gaming diary, the table of contents (includes thesis background), and chapters in progress of his thesis are online. ” I respect many kinds of approaches to the study of games and players, just as long as the researchers play games themselves.”—Aki Järvinen … Continue reading

Share

evocational ethnography

Since “Writing Culture” (Clifford & Marcus 1986) there is a lot of discussion about writing ethnographies in literary style(s). In my view the discussions inside visual anthropology deals with quite the same set of problems and issues transponed to the media still photography and moving image. Somehow hypermedia, the computer, and the Internet merge all this together. So every cyber/anthropologist doing work visibly online (like me here) sooner or later has to try to get wiser from writing culture and visual anthropology. Tobias Rees’ paper “Writing culture — Filming Culture” (Rees 1998) comes in handy, in my opinion. [One advantage … Continue reading

Share

xenophilia

↑Forarea, a bavaria-based, interdisciplinary community of about 200 scientists, concerned with the understanding of ‘other cultures’, has launched a computer game called ↑Xenophilia [=”the liking of the other”]. The game’s aim is to mediate an understanding of people who were socialized in cultures different from the ‘western’ one. Children and teenagers are to be reached by the game’s message. Xenophilia was presented at this year’s ↑Frankfurt Book Fair and instantaneously was awarded the ↑Giga-Maus, a german software award. Two versions of Xenophilia are available: One for everyone and one specially designed for the use in schools. original version at ethno::log … Continue reading

Share